Two late touchdowns ensured Homecoming at Sacred Heart Catholic School ended in victory.
The Tigers defeated Willow Park Trinity 26-13 Friday night after scoring twice in the final five minutes in Muenster.
Sacred Heart (3-3) has now defeated two TAPPS Division III schools in as many weeks after not beating any last season.
Trinity (2-3) never led en route to dropping its second-straight game.
“We played assignment football against the flex bone,” Sacred Heart coach Dale Schilling said. “We just ground it out. Didn’t throw it much, but we threw it when we had to to keep them off balance.”
With 4:58 to play and the game tied at 13, Nathan Hesse ran into the end zone for a three-yard score to put the Tigers in front. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the door open for Trinity to win it with a touchdown and extra point.
The Sacred Heart defense never gave the Eagles the chance. The Tigers got a defensive stop, then pushed the ball down the field. Ryan Swirczynski broke free on a 20-yard run with 1:58 left to score and put the game beyond reach.
The Tigers got another stop on the resulting drive by forcing an incomplete pass on fourth down. Swirczynski came out and kneeled twice to end the game.
Swirczynski rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns. Hesse rushed for 33 and a score. Hesse also threw a 17-yard touchdown pass on a half back pass. Gus Ganzon made the scoring reception on the trick play, his only catch of the night.
Schilling said following a Trinity fumble, Swirczynski came to him and asked for the ball.
“He said, ‘I’ll get in the end zone, just give me the ball,’” Schilling said. “That’s pretty bold for a sophomore to do that. I got all the faith in him. Can’t be more proud of all of them. O-line, all of them.”
The Eagles lost three fumbles in the game. Schilling said the Tigers played with a nose guard for the first time all season, anticipating it would create opportunities to force and recover fumbles.
Sacred Heart’s only district wins last season came against fellow Division IV schools. After beating Trinity and Fort Worth Lake Country in consecutive weeks, the Tigers now have two wins against bigger schools behind them as they head into a bye week before playing the other Division IV teams.
Schilling said being able to play and beat bigger schools gives the Tigers confidence, but they talked after the game about not getting overconfident.
“Just because we got through these bigger schools, now we’re going to play somebody our size, you can’t go in thinking, ‘We got it,’” Schilling said. “We got a lot of leather put on us since the end of August. We’re just going to try to keep it going.”