Knights Show Fight in 30-12 Loss to Plant


Photo A. Anders

JJ Henderson (’16) and his teammates prepare for the next play.

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

For the 11th straight season, Plant claimed the Battle of South Tampa over Robinson. The Knights fell behind 24-0 early, but cut the deficit in half before the Panthers put them away with a late score.

“Proud of the team,” said head coach Shawn Taylor. “We coach them to never quit and always play hard no matter the circumstance.”

The Robinson defense held strong early until Plant’s offense took advantage of good field position. That field position was a result of mistakes and turnovers by Robinson, which also proved to be the difference last week.

Knights quarterback Malik Tyson (’16) struggled early before leaving the game with an apparent ankle injury. Najee Fitzgerald (’17) relieved him and performed admirably, completing seven of 15 passes for 57 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 43 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

“Najee did a fantastic job,” said Taylor. “First snaps at QB on varsity and in that setting, that’s a tough place for a first game.”

Once the Panthers led 24-0, the Knights began to turn things around. Late in the first half, Chase Volpi (’17) came up with an interception that set up a touchdown pass from Fitzgerald to J.J. Henderson (’16).

On the opening kickoff of the second half, Robinson recovered a fumble that set up a five-yard touchdown run by Fitzgerald. The two teams battled evenly throughout the final two quarters, finishing the second half with just a touchdown apiece.

“Way too many mistakes early against a good Plant team,” he said. “[We] dug a hole that we can’t climb out of against a good team.”

The Knights (1-2) hit the road once again next week, opening up district play at Middleton.