Knights make statement against Warriors, advance to 2nd round

Senior+quarterback+Caylin+Newton+scrambles+out+the+pocket+during+the+Knights%27+home+playoff+game+against+Walnut+Grove.+The+Knights+went+on+to+win+42-8.

Senior quarterback Caylin Newton scrambles out the pocket during the Knights' home playoff game against Walnut Grove. The Knights went on to win 42-8.

Alex Tonico

Senior quarterback Caylin Newton scrambles out the pocket during the Knights' home playoff game against Walnut Grove. The Knights went on to win 42-8.
Senior quarterback Caylin Newton scrambles out the pocket during the Knights’ home playoff game against Walnut Grove. The Knights went on to win 42-8.

The Knights took on the Walnut Grove Warriors in their first home playoff game since 2010. They dominated throughout the entire game, which lead to a 42-8 win in the first round of the GHSA playoffs.

The Warriors received the ball first, but quickly turned it over after they attempted a 4th and one on their own 42 early in quarter. The Knights responded with a 6-play, 47 yard drive that ended with a touchdown connection between senior quarterback Caylin Newton and senior tight end and Louisville commit Kemari Averett.

The 2-pt conversion attempt for the Knights was successful and that gave them an 8-0 lead with 6:30 left in the 1st quarter.

After a three-and-out by the Warriors offense on their next drive, the Knights fair caught the oncoming punt at the Walnut Grove 10-yard line, but they wouldn’t keep the ball for long.

On their first play of the drive, Newton threw a deep ball short and it was intercepted by the Walnut Grove defender.

Even with the turnover, the Warriors were still not able to get anything going with the offense, repeatedly giving the ball back to the Knights.

The Knights took advantage on offense this time around, using an 8-play, 61-yard drive to get in the end zone again after a 5-yard rush by senior tail back/cornerback DiMarcus Clay. His 5th total touchdown of the season along with a successful extra point was good enough for a 15-0 Knights lead with 10:35 remaining in the half.

With momentum, the Knights keep their foot on the gas, delivering two brutal strikes to the Warriors confidence in two consecutive plays. The first play was an interception by junior outside linebacker Cameron Campbell to give the ball to the offense at the Warriors 48. One play, a bubble to screen to senior wide receiver Jacquez Sloan, was all it took for the Knights to get in the end zone yet again, giving Newton another 50+ yard touchdown under his belt. Another succesful extra point made the game 22-0.

With the defense shutting down any type of Warriors offense, the Knights offense showed them how it was done by scoring on their first snap of the drive yet again. This time it was a 75 yard connection between Newton and Sloan, and it gave the Knights a 29-0 lead going into halftime.

The hot streak continued when Sloan scored his 3rd touchdown of the night on a 79-yard kick return to start the half and extend the Knights lead to 36-0.

On the kickoff, senior defensive back Avonte Ross forced a fumble and the special teams unit was able to recover it on the Grady 25 yard line. The offense did the rest, finishing yet another short drive with a 20-yard touchdown run by Newton. An unsuccessful 2 pt conversion attempt ended the offenses’ night with a 42-0 lead on the scoreboard. Walnut Grove was eventually able to score on a 2-yard rush with 5:50 left in the game, but it was a case of “too little, too late” for the Warriors.

The Knights will take on the Woodland-Stockbridge Wolfpacl next Friday, 7:30PM at Grady Stadium.

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