Trinity football (3-3, 0-2) fell at home to the visiting Riverside Prep Silver Knights (3-4, 1-1) 24-20 at College of the Canyons.
The Silver Knights scored 16 unanswered points to complete their fourth-quarter comeback and spoil Trinity receiver Rocco Izzo’s huge night on Saturday.
Izzo was the Knights’ offense, exploding for six catches for 253 yards and three TDs.
Riverside Prep would work the ball into the red zone on its opening drive but a Jack Spector interception ended any chance of quick points for the Silver Knights.
Both offenses looked stagnant and couldn’t get much going early for the most part. However, after a slow start, Trinity would repeatedly find itself in prime position to score.
The Knights finally struck first late in the second quarter. The offense still looked stagnant but sophomore quarterback Noah Visconti launched a rocket of a throw to Izzo.
Izzo turned on the jets to just barely catch the ball and head into the end zone untouched.
“I think God gave me a couple extra inches on the fingertips there,” said Izzo. “I knew when Noah put it up there it was going to be a stretch and I did nothing but keep running.”
Trinity immediately forced a quick fumble and found themselves back in the red zone seconds after Izzo’s score.
The senior wide receiver would come up with his second score on a wide open 6-yard TD pass from Visconti.
Visconti has gotten time under center this year, sharing time with quarterback Dominic Smith. Saturday would be the sophomore’s first varsity start at quarterback.
“We had a sophomore starting his first game at quarterback,” said Trinity head coach Mike Parrinello. “That’s just not easy, especially in a league game against Riverside Prep. I’m real happy with how he did. We’ve got things to learn and work on but the future is still very bright at quarterback.”
The Knights would then deny a fake punt any space and jump right back into scoring position. However, Visconti’s first interception would cost Trinity the points.
Trinity would again force a punt and nearly took a chokehold on the game. Izzo broke free on a screen pass for a 63-yard reception but was caught inside the 10-yard line. The Knights were primed for a huge quarter and about to go up three scores but another Visconti pick cost them yet again. This time Silver Knights defensive lineman Aryon Comen picked off Visconti for a long pick-six to kick Riverside Prep back into the game, down 12-8.
Trinity was suddenly only up four with 18 seconds left in the half. The team knew they could make a play and with everything Izzo touching turning into gold, they’d go to their man.
Izzo made a dynamic leaping catch in tight coverage and blew by the Riverside defenders for a 69-yard TD reception as time expired.
The receiver now has nine touchdowns in his past five games.
“I give everything to the O-linemen and quarterback doing what they did,” said Izzo. “I have enough confidence to get outside of the DB and do my job. As long as they get a block down and get the ball out, I can make the catch. I give it all to the guys in the trenches.”
Trinity could only post 18 points at the half as the team went 0/3 on 2-point tries after Izzo’s scores.
The Silver Knights stormed back into the game in the third quarter and posted back-to-back TDs.
The Riverside special teams would spark the team. The visitors recovered an onside kick on the second half opening kickoff. The Silver Knights couldn’t register much offense but again special teams trickery paid off. Punter Major Brown found wide receiver Aaron Smith for a 60-yard TD pass on a fake punt.
Riverside running back Marrion Brown ran in the second score on an 8-yard rushing TD to take the lead.
The Knights’ offense stalled but the defense made plays when the team needed it most.
Sophomore John Carlson registered his second sack and took down Prep quarterback Brody McDonagh for a safety. The Knights’ defense promptly returned to the field after more offensive mishaps and recovered a fumble.
However, the Trinity offense fell just short and couldn’t get anything going in their final two drives.
The Knights saw a ton of positives on both sides of the football. The defense had a great number of turnovers while Izzo continued his hot streak.
Parrinello will hope to see the team’s balance re-emerge and the defense keep up its pace.
Trinity will remain at home but head to Fillmore to host Linfield Christian on Friday. The Knights are still in search of their first league win and will look to grind one out against the Lions.
Trinity and Linfield Christian kick off Friday at 7 p.m.