Trinity football (3-2, 0-1) dropped its Mesquite League opener to the hosting Arrowhead Christian (4-2, 1-0) on Friday.
The Knights were down eight players but still managed 32 points in Redlands.
Trinity jumped out to a 16-7 lead but 21 unanswered points in the second quarter gave the Eagles the lead they’d hold onto for the rest of the game.
The team surged in the third quarter and touchdowns from each of the Knights’ quarterbacks Dominic Smith and Noah Visconti brought the team within striking distance.
“We just tried to get back to what our game plan was,” said Knights head coach Mike Parrinello. “The boys, I give them a lot of credit, they didn’t get inspiration from the coaches. They inspired each other.”
Both quarterbacks finished with a pair of TDs for the Knights. Senior Rocco Izzo reeled in two of the scores and now has five scores in his last three games.
Trinity looked poised to steal this game, with Arrowhead holding just a 34-32 lead going into the fourth quarter. However, another big run would end the Knights’ comeback.
Consecutive rushing scores from the Eagles gave them the advantage and their opponents just couldn’t rally for another score.
“I think we kind of got worn down at the end,” said Parrinello. “If we didn’t give up that last score it could’ve ended a little differently.”
The Knights have a plethora of two-way and three-way players so missing eight players was like missing more than 20 for Trinity.
The team won’t make any excuses and was right there in a tough league battle.
“I’m really happy with how the guys played that filled in,” said Parrinello. “You don’t expect to be fully healthy at this point of the season but I didn’t think it’d be like this.”
Trinity will return for a two-game home stand as they dive into league play. The team will hope to be a little healthier and return most of its starters when it hosts the Riverside Prep Silver Knights on Saturday.
“We just want to get back to who we are as a team,” said Parrinello. “We have the talent and the players. We need to get back to doing our jobs and be more efficient. The weapons are there, we just need to get the ball in their hands. We know what we’re capable of and we know we can win these football games. We’re positive moving forward.”
The Knights and Silver Knights kick off Saturday at 6 p.m. at College of the Canyons’ Cougar Stadium.