Hillsborough County, FL – Undefeated Robinson will travel to undefeated #7 Jesuit in a 5A Region 3 showdown. Robinson is having the best start to the season since 2012. Jesuit is as consistent as they have been. Winning and winning convincingly. Something must give tonight. Jesuit will go in as the favorite but Robinson should not be counted out. Here’s what the Knights need to do to pull the upset.
Jesuit is averaging nearly 30 points in the first half. A big reason is the play of senior quarterback Joseph Pesanky. He is completing 60% of his passes and throwing for nearly 200 yards per game. It’s not that he is just completing passes, it’s how. Pesansky is a pass-first QB. His eyes are always down the field especially when the play breaks down. Robinson’s defensive backs will need to stay in coverage longer and allow Pesansky to commit past the line of scrimmage before coming out of coverage. He’ll still make some plays. However, Robinson can not allow the big play from releasing receivers in man or voiding a zone just because the QB leaves the pocket.
Jesuit running back Joquez Smith is the best running back no one talks about. A combination of speed, shiftiness, and strength, “Quez” is a handful. As good as he is running the ball on the outside, he is better between the hashes. Credit the Tigers offensive line. They have improved each and every game. Along with the full-back, the blocking for #24 has been really good. Robinson is going to need to own the line of scrimmage and take away offensive blocking angles. Building piles and forcing Smith to bounce might be a strategy that will work for the speed on the edge of the defensive box for the Knights. Robinson won’t shutdown Smith, but they need to limit his big runs and win in short-yardage situations.
Robinson QB Rickeem Parks is good. Really good. And for those outside South of Gandy, his name may not ring bells. Sweet with the feet, and smooth throwing the football, Parks is a special athlete. However, Jesuit has seen that before. Nothing new. What usually happens with athletic QBs, when the play breaks down, they’ll rely on their legs to take off and try and create a positive play on their own using his legs. Tonight, the junior QB will need to move in the pocket with his legs and try and create one more second to find a receiver downfield. Ultimately, win from the pocket. He doesn’t have to be Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. Opportunities will come for him to eat up some big yards with his legs, but not many. Jesuit is discipline and Parks can string together some streaks of positive plays if he can play from the pocket.