Preview: Robinson at Blake

Wide+receiver+Iyan+Mitchell+%28%2716%29+runs+the+ball+into+the+end+zone+for+one+of+his+three+touchdowns+of+the+night.

Photo I. Hanewicz

Wide receiver Iyan Mitchell (’16) runs the ball into the end zone for one of his three touchdowns of the night.

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

After a 36-21 comeback victory last week in the 2015 Kickoff Classic, the Knights open up the regular season this Friday night, meeting Blake in a non-district matchup. Robinson will be looking for their first win in a regular season opener since 2012, when they beat Jefferson 58-21.

REWIND: Last October, the Knights hit the road and picked up a convincing 27-7 win over Blake. Quarterback Malik Tyson (’16), then a junior, completed 8 of 12 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown while Keldric Preston (’16), also a junior at the time, racked up five tackles and two sacks.

PLAYERS TO WATCH (Blake):

Marquis Daniel (’16) Daniel’s numbers from last year alone are impressive. The 6-foot-1 defensive end collected 46 total tackles (37 solo) and eight sacks. He played in all 10 games last year, making opposing quarterbacks miserable with 22 quarterback hurries. Daniel had two sacks against the Knights last year, but an improved Robinson offensive line will likely give him an interesting battle.

Quarterback– From the outside looking in, the quarterback position for Blake heading into this season is a bit of a mystery. Samuel Oxendine (’16) saw a lot of time at the position last fall, but struggled mightily in eight games, completing just 30.3 percent of his passes and throwing 13 interceptions. He did not suit up for last week’s game against Tampa Bay Tech, leaving Marquee Judge (’18) to take the snaps, so it should be interesting to see who lines up under center on Friday night and how they fare throughout the night.

PLAYERS TO WATCH (Robinson):

Iyan Mitchell (’16)– There was a lot of buzz surrounding Mitchell after last week’s game against Pinellas Park, and for good reason. He caught five passes for 159 yards and three touchdowns, also intercepting a pass late in the game to clinch the Robinson victory. The 5-foot-8 Mitchell may have been overshadowed a bit last year by Jahrvis Davenport, who now plays at Maryland, but he still hauled in 30 catches for 359 yards and four touchdowns. The duo of Tyson and Mitchell will look to stay hot this Friday against a Blake team that gave up 44 points last week to Tampa Bay Tech.

Anfernee Alston (’17)– Alston had a breakout year in 2014 as a sophomore, rushing for 830 yards and nine touchdowns. Even in a down year for the Knights, he stood out as one of the bright spots. While the passing game was showcased last week, Alston quietly had a solid game. He totaled 64 yards on 14 carries and came through with the go-ahead score in the third quarter from two yards out. A consistent balance between the ground game and air attack should lead to a solid year for the Knights offense.

Kickoff for Friday night’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. at James “Big Jim” Williams Stadium on the campus of Blake High School (1701 North Blvd, Tampa, FL 33607).