The Trinity Lions’ second year in the GHSA came to an end on a wet and cold night in the first round of the Class A Private School playoffs as visiting St Francis held on for a 34-31 victory.
Trinity nearly pulled off an incredible comeback.
St. Francis built a 34-17 lead after scoring on a 64-yard drive to open the final quarter, but the Lions had plenty of answers left in their offensive arsenal.
Quarterback David Dallas, who has worked his magic throughout the year for the Lions, also showed he could contribute in other ways Friday night, returning the ensuing kickoff to the Trinity 47.
Dallas and his teammates benefitted from the good field position and marched to paydirt with a couple of third-down conversions.
Dallas completed passes to Jimbo Batchelor Josh Dallas and Brent Dowler to help keep the first down chains moving on the drive.
The Lions cut the lead to 34-24 with 5:05 left in the game when Dallas connected with Shamari Reed for the touchdown.
Just about two minutes later, the Lions were back in the end zone when the Dallas brothers hooked up for the final points of the night as Josh caught David’s 5-yard pass.
St. Francis handled the Lions’ onside kick and after picking up a couple of first downs ran out the clock to advance to the second round.
The Lions were forced to play from behind early as the Knights marched 78 yards in nine plays on the opening drive to take a 7-0 lead.
Trinity grabbed some early momentum when it scored twice in the span of about 16 seconds to take a 14-7 lead.
Long passes to Dowler and Josh Dallas moved the ball down to the Knight’s one and Tyson Wall capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge to help tie the game a 7-all.
St. Francis had trouble handling the kickoff and Trinity’s Batchelor recovered the fumble.
It took the Lions just one play to take the lead when Reed hauled in the touchdown pass.
The momentum didn’t last long as the Knights tied the game at 14 in the next series
St. Francis converted one third-down play and one play later, the Knights broke off a 59-yard TD run.
With just over three minutes left in the second half, Josh Dallas came up big on the defensive side of the ball with an interception, but the Lions couldn’t convert.
A mishandled punt by the Lions with 44 seconds left led to the Knights third touchdown of the first half right before the intermissions as St. Francis fell on the ball in the end zone.
It wouldn’t be the last of the mistakes by the Lions’ special teams.
Trinity fumbled the opening kick of the second half and St. Francis turned it into a quick touchdown.
Despite the missed extra point, the Knights led 27-14.
Trinity put together a solid drive midway through the third quarter, but it stalled resulting in Noah Maupin’s 39-yard field goal to cut the lead to 27-17.
Trinity finished the game with 387 yards, including 295 passing from David Dallas.
Dallas was 27 of 42 with three TD passes, including two to Reed and one to his brother Josh.
Josh finish the game with 11 catches.
Six players caught at least one pass in the contest.
Reed also had a solid night on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage, finishing with a team leading five tackles.