Preview: Jefferson at Robinson

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Photo A. Anders

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

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

Both teams will have their seasons on the line when Robinson (5-4) hosts Jefferson (2-6) in the regular season finale on Friday night. With the Knights and Dragons both holding 2-1 district records, the winner of the matchup will clinch a spot in the playoffs while the losing team will be forced to start preparing for next season.

REWIND: In their 2014 meeting, Jefferson overcame a slow start to beat the Knights 24-7. The Dragons forced four turnovers and totaled 14 sacks to back up quarterback Cade Weldon (’17), who completed 13 of 20 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown. Robinson running back Anfernee Alston (’17) rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

PLAYERS TO WATCH (Jefferson):

Jermaine Eskridge (’18)– After being kept off the field all season while the FHSAA investigated his residency, Eskridge is now eligible in time for Friday night, according to Nick Williams of the Tampa Tribune. The buzz surrounding the 6-foot-3 receiver is that he is already committed to Kentucky over 22 other schools. His other offers include Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Southern California and Michigan.

Mondreas Lofton (’16)– Lofton has taken on the role of leading the Jefferson offense this season, especially since Weldon went down with an ACL injury on the first drive of the season opener. The senior running back has rushed for 838 yards and 10 touchdowns on 111 carries this season. With the passing game being split between two quarterbacks, the ground game has been the go-to for the Dragons throughout the year.

PLAYERS TO WATCH (Robinson):

J.J. Henderson (’16)– Henderson had two catches in last week’s 44-27 victory over Spoto, both going for long scores. His touchdown receptions of 55 and 35 yards raised his season totals to 284 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Henderson has racked up 33 tackles (20 solo), three fumble recoveries and a forced fumble.

Keldric Preston (’16)– Preston, like 19 other seniors, will play his final regular season game as a Robinson Knight on Friday. He is headed to Wisconsin to play college football for the Badgers next season, but he’ll look to lead the Robinson defense to a playoff-clinching performance against the Dragons.

Friday night’s regular season finale will kick off at 7:30 p.m. at Jack Peters Field on the campus of Robinson High School (6311 S Lois Ave, Tampa, FL 33616).