Flag Football: Knights Advance to Regional Finals After 32-0 Win Over Northeast

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Photo Isabel Hanewicz

Quarterback Kayla Knowlton (’16) throws a pitch towards running back Sarah Jennewein (’17), who ran the ball for a first down.

Macy McClintock, Staff Writer

As the quest for their second state championship title in three years continued, the Robinson Knights beat the Northeast Vikings 32-0 in the regional semifinals Friday night at Jack Peters Field.

The game got off to a slow start, with both the Knights and the Vikings turning over on downs the first few rotations.

With minutes left in the first quarter quarterback Kayla Knowlton (’16) pitched the ball to Sarah Jennewein (’17) who ran it into the end zone to put the Knights on the board with a 6-0 lead.

Captains Emily Draper (’17) and McKenna Tyson (’17) had consecutive blocked passes in the first half, forcing the Vikings to turn the ball over on downs. A touchdown pass to captain Megan Bohan (’16) increased the Knights’ lead to 13-0 before an interception by Tatum Brookes (’16) ended the first half.

After a half time talk by head Coach Joshua Saunders about the team’s weak offense, the Knights kick-started the third quarter with a completed pass to MacKenzie Johnson (’16) and a 10-yard run by Jennewein. Draper caught a 25-yard pass from Knowlton to increase the lead to 19-0 during the middle of the third quarter.

Emily Draper ('17) added two touchdowns in the Knights' 32-0 shutout over Northeast.
Photo Isabel Hanewicz
Emily Draper (’17) added two touchdowns in the Knights’ 32-0 shutout over Northeast.

The Knights’ defense continued to dominate in the end of the quarter with an interception by Tyson, a sack by Jennewein and a second interception of the night for Brookes. Offensively, Bohan caught her second touchdown pass of the night, followed by a 42-yard run into the end zone by Draper to end the game 32-0.

“It’s wrong to single out just one player,” said head coach Joshua Saunders on the team’s performance.“The whole defense was better than awesome today.”

With the win, the Knights look to a victory in Tuesday’s regional final to cinch a spot in the state finals, which will be held on their home field next Friday and Saturday, May 6-7.

“If we make it [to states], we get to be the host team and we get to play last on our field and, if we win, claim the crown at home,” said Draper. “It’ll be extremely special because I think we’ll have a lot of fans here and support from the community.”

The journey towards state title continues Tuesday night as the Knights take on the Armwood Hawks in the regional finals.

IF YOU GO

  • Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.at Armwood’s Lyle Flagg Stadium (12000 US-92, Seffner, FL 33584).
  • Admission to the game is $7.00.
  • Only FHSAA passes are accepted for free entry. This excludes athletic passes given by Hillsborough County.
  • Expect I-4 traffic to add about 10 minutes to the trip.