Comeback Propels Knights to 36-21 Victory

Photo I. Hanewicz
Quarterback Malik Tyson (’16) celebrates a touchdown with Eann Johnson (’18).

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

TAMPA- A buzz of excitement filled the air prior to Friday night’s Kickoff Classic between Robinson and Pinellas Park at Jack Peters Field as the Knights were looking for their first win over the Patriots in school history. After a rocky start that saw Pinellas Park take a 21-8 lead into halftime, Robinson put up 28 unanswered points in the second half for a 36-21 win.

“The second half was the way we play ball,” said head coach Shawn Taylor. “I’m happy about that. We’ve got a long way to go and a lot to do, but that was a really good team that we beat in the second half.”

Pinellas Park took an early 6-0 lead in the first quarter before Knights quarterback Malik Tyson (’16) found Iyan Mitchell (’16) on a screen pass for a 25-yard touchdown. From there, the Patriots took control, scoring twice before halftime.

“The first half, I lost my mind in there because that wasn’t the way we practiced,” Taylor said.

When the teams took the field in the second half, it was the Knights who found themselves in control. Early in the third quarter, Mitchell took a short pass from Tyson 73 yards to cut the deficit to 21-15. One defensive stop later, Robinson regained the lead with a two-yard touchdown run by Anfernee Alston (’17).

Once the Knights took the lead late in the third, they cruised through the fourth, with Mitchell picking up a third touchdown and Tyson adding a 27-yard rushing touchdown. Mitchell, who had five catches for 159 yards and three touchdowns, put the exclamation point on the victory with a late interception.

Despite a slow first half, Tyson completed 8 of 12 passes overall and totaled 267 yards and four touchdowns.

“The sky’s the limit for these guys,” he said. “If we can keep it together, we can win a lot of games this year.”

The Knights will open up the regular season next Friday night at Blake High School (1701 North Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607). Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.