Photo from RHS Digital Media Facebook Page
The Robbinsville Black Knights hosted the Winston Salem Prep Phoenix on Friday night. The Black Knights are carrying a two-year win streak and almost lost that streak in this game. In two years the Black Knights have not been as close to a loss as they were Friday night. Give credit to the Phoenix, they pushed Robbinsville to the brink and had them on the ropes. There is a reason they call it title town though, Robbinsville showed championship composure. Somehow, someway, the Black Knights escaped with a victory winning 42-40.
Robbinsville owned the first quarter in this game, forcing a quick three and out on their defensive series of the night. Once they got the ball for their first offensive series they made quick work of it. Working the ball methodically down the field running it down the throat of Winston Salem all the way in for their first touchdown. The extra point was missed though making the score 6-0 Knights leading. The next series for the Phoenix on offense was another three and out. The Black Knight defense was prepared and playing tough early.
Once again Robbinsville worked down the field for a score taking a two-score lead 12-0. After not finding any success on their first two drives the Phoenix were able to find some space and got down the field quickly getting their first touchdown of the night. After a successful two-point conversion the score was Robbinsville 12 Phoenix 8. That was the score as the first quarter came to a close with the Black Knights having the ball on offense.
After getting dominated in the first quarter, the second quarter was all Winston Salem. The Phoenix offensive going mostly five wide spreading out Robbinsville found all kinds of success. Their passing attack could not be slowed down and their quarterback was buying time running around. Scoring two touchdowns in the quarter and putting Robbinsville in a very unfamiliar position. That is trailing at halftime 20-12.
This game was like two prizefighters going at it with each winning a few rounds. Robbinsville won the third quarter in this prizefight though. Coming out of halftime with all run plays all way in for a touchdown score. As well they got the two-point conversion to tie it up 20-20. Then defensively forcing a three and out to get the ball back quickly. Once again Robbinsville quickly worked down the field using a power rushing attack. Scoring again to take the lead back but missing the two-point conversion made the score 26-20. After forcing a turnover on downs Robbinsville got the ball back to close the third quarter.
The fourth quarter though saw the Phoenix fight back, scoring to tie it up at 26-26. Then the last few minutes of the fourth quarter were complete pandemonium. On two different series, the Phoenix had the ball inside Robbinsville ten-yard line. Yet could not find a way to finish off either drive. On the first drive, Robbinsville intercepted a tipped ball to get the ball back. They could not get anything going though and had to punt the ball back. Once again the Phoenix worked it all the way inside the Robbinsville ten-yard line. We saw the biggest goalline stand of the season though with Robbinsville finding a way to keep the Phoenix from scoring. Actually two different times we saw a line judge signal touchdown. Yet neither time did it count one being negated by a false start and another had a timeout called right before the play. Then on fourth and goal, the Black Knights pass rush forced a quick throw going off the fingertips of a Phoenix receiver. With the game tied up at 26 all, we went to overtime.
The Phoenix made overtime look easy getting the ball first and scoring on their first play. Then converting the two-point conversion to take an eight-point lead. This meant Robbinsville had to score and get a two-point conversion to keep their season alive. They ran on the first three downs but it only resulted in two yards total. Now fourth and goal from the seven Robbinsville had to score to stay in the game. Robbinsville ran a wheel route to Lex Hooper on a bad ankle who gutted it out. Received a perfect pass from Nathan Collins for the touchdown. Then Collins took a quarterback keeper in for the two-point conversion to force double overtime.
In the second overtime, Lex Hooper ran it in on third down for a touchdown followed up by another Collins two-point conversion. This now forced Winston Salem Prep to have to score and get a two-point conversion to tie it up. Once again the Phoenix made it look easy scoring on the first play of their offensive possession. Now they needed to get the two-point conversion to force a third overtime. The Black Knights got a great pass rush forcing an off-balance throw that was out of reach of the Phoenix receiver. The Knights got the stop and the win 42-40.
With the victory, Robbinsville stays alive and will continue in the playoffs hosting Michell next week.