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Trinity football bound for championship game

Posted: November 22, 2013 11:39 p.m.
Updated: November 22, 2013 11:39 p.m.

All the Trinity Classical Academy Knights football team needed was a taste.

Playing its third straight CIF-Southern Section Division II 8-man semifinal game, Trinity turned a close game into a comfortable 50-32 win over Desert Chapel of Palm Springs on Friday night at Desert Chapel High.

The Knights (9-2) are headed to their first football championship game in the four-year history of the program.

Trinity earns a home matchup against Joshua Springs for the title after Joshua Springs won 42-0 over Cuyama Valley in the other semifinal.

“Halftime, we just sort of talked to (the players) and reminded them that we have 12 upperclassmen, and if they wanted to get to a championship game, it would be up to them,” said Trinity head coach Mike Buchanan.

Trinity lost in the same round each of the last two seasons.

On Friday, it had to knock off previously undefeated Desert Chapel (10-1), which came in as the division's No. 2 seed. Trinity is the No. 3.

The task wasn’t an easy one for Trinity. Desert Chapel had allowed an average of 10.7 points per game coming in to the game.

It was a bigger, stronger team than the Knights were used to playing.

But Trinity stuck around in the first half behind big plays from quarterback Colton Oshiro as well as Ryan Brooks, Spencer Klehn and Patch Kulp.

Oshiro threw four touchdown passes, all in the first half, and finished the game with 267 yards on 12-of-20 passing.

Trinity led 28-26 at half but began to pull away late in the game.

“They had never been behind all year and when we got ahead of them they sort of panicked a little bit,” Buchanan said.

The junior signal caller threw two of his scoring tosses to Brooks and one apiece to Klehn and Kulp.

Brooks ended up with 117 total receiving yards, three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions on defense.

Kulp had 88 rushing yards and added a score on the ground. He also led the team with 14 tackles.

Coming off a five-touchdown performance a week earlier, Klehn had three more on Friday — two rushing and one receiving.

“We opened up a new offense,” Buchanan said. “We finally went to a new offense that no one has seen us run before and that helped us control the ball and the time.”

Now this group made up of nine seniors and three juniors has a chance at the school’s first CIF title in any sport next week.

The championship game will be a rematch from earlier in the season when Joshua Springs bested Trinity 36-34 on Oct. 18.

“We welcome them with open arms and clenched teeth,” Buchanan said.


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