Knights give up kickoff return TD before half, Arrowhead Christian wins, 48-14
The Trinity Classical Academy Knights had a rough go of it in their Mesquite League opener, falling to the Arrowhead Christian Eagles on the road on Thursday, 48-14.
The Knights (2-4, 0-1) held a 14-13 lead late in the first half before the Eagles (6-0, 1-0) returned a kickoff for a touchdown and hit on the two-point conversion to steal the lead going into the half.
Things went from bad to worse from there for Trinity as the Knights were shut out in the second half and lost their quarterback, junior Noah Visconti, to injury in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got a young team, we’ve got an inexperienced team,” Trinity head coach Mike Parrinello said in a phone interview. “We’re starting several freshmen right now with injuries and everything else. We took a lead and then we gave up a special teams touchdown that just really, really killed us.”
Visconti tossed one touchdown in the first half to freshman Andrew Carlson out of the slot, the receiver’s first-ever touchdown at the high school level. The Knights got their other score from junior John Carlson on a run.
Parrinello was happy with his team’s performance up to that point. Once the Eagles took the lead, he saw some of the inexperience take effect.
“We were playing just a balanced game. Our philosophy is bend, don’t break on defense. And we were doing that,” Parrinello said.
The Knights were playing without junior Luke Backes, one of the team’s top receivers, who was a game-time decision, according to Parrinello. The injury bug latched onto Visconti in the fourth quarter on Thursday as he exited with an ankle injury.
Parrinello isn’t expecting Visconti to be back in time for next Saturday’s game away against the Riverside Prep Knights (2-3, 0-0), who have yet to play a league game this season after having their bye this week. That leaves Andrew Carlson as the next option under center.
“He knows our offense very well,” Parrinello said. “He’s been running it, he runs our scout team often. He’s got a real good understanding of the system and what we try and accomplish. Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the game reps. But we think he can do well.”
With just four regular-season games left on the schedule, Parrinello is looking to see more consistency out of his players to get them out of the rut they’ve been stuck in during their four-game losing streak.
“We want to see more consistency,” Parrinello said. “We want to see that we don’t have some of these lapses like in this last game on special teams, game before, giving up some big plays.
“We looked at our film today and a lot of the things that cost us were more mental lapses rather than being outplayed or physically overmatched. We made mistakes that resulted in bad things happening to us on both sides of the football. We got to clean that up and I’d like to see us clean that up as we as we finish out the season.”