The Trinity Classical Academy football team is opening the season tonight on the road against a familiar foe in Desert Christian Academy, a team they opened up against last year.
Though the Knights won the game on the field in a blowout that ended 38-0, they had to forfeit the victory because of a self-reported ineligible player.
That’s not going to be the case this season.
“We had the technical error last year but we know what we did on the field against them,” said senior quarterback Rick Roberts. “However we’re a different team and I’m sure they will be too. Regardless we’re just excited to go out there and finally get to show what we can do in a real game situation.”
Roberts returns to lead the Knights under center, and he’ll have a solid group of skill players to get the ball to including wide receivers Kyle Fields, AJ Horning and Lucas Mendoza.
Freshman running back Nick Parrinello will likely see the bulk of the carries, but Fields and Horning will also have an opportunity to tote the rock.
But according to Roberts, it all starts with the big guys up front.
“We have guys that can really play but it really all starts up front with the line,” he said. “We can’t get the ball into those guys’ hands without them giving me some time to do so. We have a very athletic group up front and they’ve been doing a great job thus far and I expect a great performance from them tomorrow night.
“And with that it’s all about getting the ball in my guys’ hands. They’re playmakers and having so many great weapons like that helps because they won’t really be able to key on one guy without leaving someone else open.”
Desert Christian played an 11-man football schedule for the first time last year, and have a solid group of players returning this season.
Roberts should be able to pick apart the Conquerors’ defense however, a unit that gave up more than 60 points four times last season, including a 78-0 defeat in their final game of the year.
“Personally I’ve watched the film of last season’s game countless times looking to see what we did well and where we stalled out,” Roberts said. “We started super fast last year and started to slow down as the game went on, but really it was just a matter of execution. Obviously, they’re going to look different this year so last year’s film isn’t everything, but as long as we can go the whole game staying patient and doing what we do well, we should be very successful.”
The Knights are looking to improve on a 5-5 season last year, which really should have been 6-4 if they didn’t have to forfeit the first game against Desert Christian due to the technicality.
It all starts tonight at 7 p.m., and Roberts and the rest of the Knights will be ready for the challenge.
“We’re stoked to finally get out there. We’ve been working so hard ever since last season ended, we got back to work almost immediately,” Roberts said. “We feel we’re a much better team this year and we have high expectations for ourselves especially coming into this first game.”