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Prep football: Trinity reaches new heights

Knights rebound from 34-8 hole to defeat CIF-Southern Section 8-man Division I power

Posted: October 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Trinity QB Dakota Prochnow (9) runs for daylight after leaving Faith Baptist's Matthew Carter (1) behind.

 

CANOGA PARK — When a program is so new, it’s easy to say that this win or that win is the biggest in school history.

So let’s put Trinity Classical Academy’s come-from-behind, last-minute 35-34 victory Saturday afternoon over Faith Baptist at Faith Baptist School in perspective.

This is the game where Trinity truly deserves the respect of all 8-man football teams in the state.

 Trinity trailed 34-8 in the second quarter and scored 27 unanswered points to grab the victory. This against a program that despite having a down year has won three CIF-Southern Section Division I 8-man titles since 2001, including a national championship in 2004. Faith played in three other title games in that time span.

 And that, said Trinity’s Spencer Klehn, was reason enough for the Knights to fall deep into a first-half hole.

 “We came out and made mental mistakes. We came out scared,” said Klehn, who had 10 catches in the game for 166 yards and two touchdowns. “We’ve never played in an atmosphere this big with all their fans and their tradition. I think it got to us.”

Faith (2-6 overall, 1-1 in the Heritage League) scored first on a Robert Bejar fumble recovery in the end zone on Trinity’s first drive.

Before the third-year varsity program  knew it, it was down 34-8 to the Contenders in the second quarter.

 But Dakota Prochnow connected with Klehn on a 38-yard touchdown pass shortly before halftime to cut the lead to 34-14.

In the second half, the Trinity defense withstood the pounding of the Contenders’ running game and the Knights offense made good on opportunities.

With 9:02 to play in the third quarter, Trinity running back Patch Kulp broke two tackles on a run and tiptoed the sideline for a 37-yard touchdown.

Less than five minutes later, Prochnow found Klehn for a 22-yard touchdown and the lead was cut to 34-28.

Trinity (6-2. 2-0) stopped Faith on two fourth downs in the final quarter, the final one giving the Knights the ball on their own 24-yard line with 1:16 to play.

Prochnow made plays with his feet and arm on the drive, including the game-prolonging 30-yard completion off a scramble to Klehn at the Faith 8-yard line.

On the next play, Prochnow ran it in for a touchdown, tying the score 34-34. Chase Duguid nailed the extra point for the 35-34 lead with 40 seconds to play.

Contenders quarterback Jonathan Rasmussen completed three straight passes that took Faith into Knights territory.

Then came the defensive play of the game.

With 18 seconds to play at the Trinity 35, Rasmussen took the snap and looked downfield. From his middle linebacker position, Kasey Klar bulldozed him from behind for a sack.

“This is a big moment in my football career,” said Klar, who added the defensive call was changed three times before the snap. “I was even crying a little bit after.”

Time wound down on the Contenders, whose faces told a story of shock and dejection.

Trinity won two Omega League titles before stepping up in competition and moving to the much more powerful Heritage League in 2012. Next Saturday, the Knights play Lancaster Baptist for the title. Yet the Knights showed one Heritage League power they can do more than hang.

“This is the biggest win in our program,” said Prochnow, who was 17-of-24 for 231 yards, two touchdown passes, an interception, and 102 rushing yards and two other scores.

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