Trinity football preparing for St. Pius on short week

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The Trinity Classical Academy football team is off to the best start in program history, going 4-0 for the first time since it switched to 11-man football in 2015.

The Knights are coming off a 28-25 win against Morningside on Saturday, their closest game of the season so far. 

Quarterback Rick Roberts led the Knights to a come-from-behind victory after trailing 25-22 in the fourth quarter.

The senior is off to a historic start, throwing for 1,340 yards, 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions, completing 68.6% of his passes so far this year.

Having played on Saturday, Roberts and his teammates have a short week to prepare for St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy on Friday, but they are concerned with getting rest more than anything.

“Having the short week doesn’t really bother us too much,” Roberts said. “As a team, we do a good job in preparation both mentally and physically. Last week we played a really physical game against Morningside and we have a few guys, including myself, who are banged up, so it’s just about us overcoming that. But we’ll be alright.”

Roberts’ three main targets have been senior Kyle Fields and sophomores AJ Horning and Lucas Mendoza. Fields has 29 receptions for 521 yards and six touchdowns, Horning has 28 catches for 582 yards plus 11 touchdowns, while Mendoza has three scores and 170 receiving yards on eight receptions. 

Roberts and the Knights will have their hands full against St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy on Friday, a team that is only in its third year of existence but is off to a 3-0 start this season. 

The Warriors are led by Bruce Walker, a 6-foot-2 senior who plays linebacker, defensive back, wide receiver and is also the team’s long snapper.

Walker is an every-down player for the Warriors, having played 158 of the team’s 160 snaps in last week’s win against St. Anthony. 

“They’re a very solid team, we’ve had them circled on the schedule for a while because we knew this would be one of our tougher games,” Roberts said. “We’re confident in our offense’s ability to put up points and our defense’s ability to stop the run and create turnovers. They’re solid, but nothing we can’t overcome.”

When the two teams met last year, the Knights won 42-7 behind a strong performance from Roberts, who threw for 207 yards and three touchdowns.

Both teams were ranked in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division 14 polls, with Trinity holding the No. 2 spot and St. Pius X-St. Matthias securing the No. 5 position.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday at Valencia High School.

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