TAMPA – On a gorgeous Friday night at Jack Peters Stadium on the campus of Robinson High School, the Knights cruised past visiting St. Pete Northeast 32-0 in the 1A girls flag football region semifinal. With the convincing victory, Robinson will travel to Armwood (8-4) next Tuesday in the region final.
The Knights (14-1) earned two scores a piece from both Emily Draper and Megan Bohan. Leading 13-0 at the break, Robinson played an aggressive style of football over the final 24 minutes.
Sarah Jennewein set the tone early for the Knights with a sack forcing a three-and-out from St. Pete Northeast (9-4) on the opening drive. Jennewein finished with a team-high three sacks along with the game’s first score, a 10-yard touchdown with the clock ticking down late in the first quarter.
Soon thereafter Robinson had a chance to tack on another six but turned the ball over on downs at the Vikings’ four-yard line. After that point, the FloridaHSFootball.com No. 1 ranked Robinson squad played determined and energetic football.
Ninth-year head coach Josh Saunders said they stuck to the gameplan and on defense his girls played as perfect as you can. They absolutely did. St. Pete Northeast had recorded four straight shutouts coming into this game.
Robinson made the Vikings pay right before the half as Bohan scored from 21 yards on a laser throw from quarterback Kayla Knowlton to go ahead 13-0. Not much later, Tatum Brookes recorded the team’s first interception as the horn sounded.
Despite an interception late in the second quarter and early in the third, Knowlton found her big-time playmakers for clutch scores as Robinson had fun out there. Emily Draper stutter-stepped her way down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown five plays into the second half.
McKenna Tyson and Brookes followed with picks of their own to give the offense more time running the show. Bohan delivered with her second 21-yard score. Plays later, Kelly Dorsey reeled in an interception off of her own teammate’s pass breakup.
Draper made the defense pay one last time as she broke past the safety for a wide open 42-yard dash into the end zone and the rest was history.
For Robinson, the 2014 state champions and 2015 state runner-up, they are still out to prove they can finish this thing.
“We played much better in the second half than the first half. The defense was awesome, they were great,” an enlivened Saunders said. “It would be wrong to single out players because there were five players that played their brains out today. I’d be shocked if they [St. Pete Northeast] had more than 50 yards of total offense. Our defense was everywhere.”
Records are piling up on the offensive side of the ball as Draper know is the single-season yards leader for Robinson. Saunders says she has just over 1,100 yards and hopefully can further that total with three possible games left on tap.
Robinson is athletic as they come with Draper, Bohan, Jennewein, Brookes and Tyson making plays on both sides of the ball. This is a deep team. I really like what Knowlton brings to this offense. They run a lot of pitches and double passes and honestly it is fun to watch.
As long as Saunders is in charge this group will always succeed. They have the weapons, now they just need to stay focused to the finish line. It would be incredible to see them win a second state title in two years, this time on their home field.
In case you missed it: 1-on-1 with Robinson senior RB Anfernee Alston
Jake Perper is the scout for Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.
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