Knights fail to hold off Alonso, fall to 0-2

The Knights are still searching for their first win after an Alonso comeback

Jack Kirk, Sports Editor

Coming off a blowout loss to Hillsborough, the Knights looked to bounce back and tame the Alonso Ravens. And for the first half, it looked like they would claim victory and bring their record to 1-1. But due to a couple of miscues down the stretch, they could not hold on to their lead and fell 18-15 to Alonso.

The game was delayed due to inclement weather, with the kickoff being about an hour later than what was scheduled. There was rain almost the entire game, which made the field and equipment wet. This was made apparent with two lost fumbles for the Ravens and constant mishandled snaps for both teams.

The Knights started off strong, with quarterback Rickeem Parks (’22) scoring a rushing touchdown six minutes into the game. Steven Verdisco made the extra point, with that kick being the only kick the Knights made all night. Then late in the second quarter, defensive back Quentin Burney (’20) recovers an Alonso fumble and returned it for a touchdown, with the Knights converting the following two-point-conversion. This put the Knights up 15-0. Both teams exchanged turnovers for the remainder of the first half, with neither team scoring before halftime arrived.

In the third quarter, Robinson’s defense continued to hold up, only allowing a field goal that was set up after Robinson muffed an Alonso punt inside their own 20 yard line. Alonso attempted another field goal later in the quarter, but the ball bounced off the goal post, leaving the score at 15-3 going into the last 12 minutes of the game.

Within the first 30 seconds of the fourth quarter, Robinson let Alonso score a passing touchdown, which brought the Ravens within one possession of the Knights. A few minutes later, the Knights responded by blocking a punt, putting them around the Ravens’ 30 yard line. After being held from making a first down, the Knights looked to kicker Steven Verdisco (’20) to put them up by eight points. But as the ball was snapped, the hold was mishandled, causing Verdisco to hesitate and barely miss the kick.

After the Knights’ miscue, the Ravens marched down the field and scored another passing touchdown, along with a two-point-conversion, to put them up 18-15 with a minute left on the clock. But the Knights still had life. They returned the ensuing kickoff down deep in Alonso territory. Then, after their drive stalled out within the Ravens’ 20 yard line, Robinson sent out their kicker once again to try to send the game into overtime. But the snap slid on the ground, leaving Verdisco no choice but to pick up the ball and attempt to run for a first down. He was tackled well short of the marker, and the game was all but over. Alonso’s quarterback knelt on the following play, and the Ravens escaped Jack Peters Field with a victory, leaving the Robinson crowd stunned.

The Robinson Knights will face the Freedom Patriots on Friday, September 6 (17410 Commerce Park Boule, Tampa, FL 33647).


Staffer Ethan Adair created a highlights video from the Alonso game. Click play to check it out.