They were done.
Trinity Christian was down 16-0 to Chaminade-Madonna at halftime. At one point, they had -43 yards of offense. Their only trip to the red-zone resulted in an interception.
And then, they flipped the switch.
The Conquerors (12-1) came out of halftime and held the Lions at bay, while scoring 17 unanswered points of their own. Chaminade-Madonna (8-2) didn't register a first down in the third quarter; they didn't make it past the sticks until the Conquerors had taken their first lead. Meanwhile, Verlon Dorminey and his staff changed their offensive game-plan: defensive back-turned-reserve running back Christian Ellis entered the game as a fullback, blocking for senior tailback Kaleb Killian -- himself only recently back from an ACL tear. Senior quarterback Jacory Jordan linked up with future Florida Gator Marcus Burke for the go-ahead 51-yard touchdown.
Then, Chaminade-Madonna re-found itself. The Lions marched 80-yards down the field and took a 22-17 lead with a little over three minutes to lead.
This was the second half, though: it belonged to Trinity. The Conquerors marched right back down the field, and on fourth-and-seven, their season on the line, Jordan and Burke worked their magic once more. An outstretched Burke hauled in a 26-yard touchdown with 48 seconds remaining. Jordan and the offense went for two, giving the Conquerors a 25-22 lead, and the Trinity defense held tough once more.
Ballgame. Trinity back on top.
After dropping their season opener to Bolles, the Conquerors have now won 12 straight. It's the eighth title for Trinity Christian and first since 2016. It was of particular importance to this year's seniors: they would've been the first class in school history to never play in a state championship game.
Now, they have more than just a memory of playing in the state title game: they have the hardware to prove it.