BALTIMORE --- Football season is officially here for the Fan-I Gang.
What was listed as a scrimmage, Avalon School and St. Frances turned out to be a real game, and a great season opener .
The Black Knights of Avalon School walked out with victory after trailing 18-6 at halftime on the road. Both teams were playing with first game jitters, but St. Frances controlled most of the game, until the last quarter.
St. Frances went up 12-6 in the first quarter when Mike Berry caught the bad snap out of the air and returned 22 yards to the endzone.
With a 1st year starter at quarterback on varsity, Isiah Robinson, Avalon School worked their way down field multiple times despite having numerous mental errors by both the QB and snapper. I commend Avalon head coach, Tyree Spinner, and his staff for sticking with Robinson, who had troubles finding his touch on not only the long ball but crossing routes.
Eventually he found it and started connecting.
Coaching is what won this game for the Black Knights, trusting in their players, never showing signs of panic, and some solid play calling. Avalon ran a jet sweep -- their best play all game -- to set up a bubble pop pass to star athlete, Trevon Diggs, on the opposite end. Diggs took that pass 40 yards up the field to tie the ball game at 18 in the 3rd quarter.
On the previous drive, the Knights scored on that same jet sweep, reason why the Panthers bit on it.
While the Panthers couldn't convert none of their PAT attempts, the Knights converted one extra-point which gave them the lead 19-18.
In the 4th quarter both teams played solid defense but, St. Francis needed more than defense to win this game. St. Frances defensive front was very impressive, especially junior Savion Williams. Williams was the main reason why the Knights struggled to find some rhythm on offense, causing havoc in the backfield almost every play. I spoke with Williams after the game and already he has 12 offers without participating in any big time camps. Only camp he attended was Alabama's, who is one of the 12 schools that has offered him a scholarship. By the end season, Williams will be one of the best players in the state, you heard it first at Fan-I.com.
Overall the Panthers didn't play bad, they just couldn't close out the game. Avalon made the plays they needed to make, plus their star player made the biggest plays down the stretch, catching an interception on the ensuing drive after his TD.
Diggs is the younger brother of current NFL Rookie and former Maryland Terp, Stefon Diggs. Diggs is uncommitted but he has offers from Bama, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, and of course Maryland.
Coach Spinner said the one thing that makes Diggs so good that most people don't know about him, is he makes other players around him better, which showed tonight. Numerous times, Diggs was Robinson's safety blacket, but kudos to Robinson for making something happen after the play broke down.
This wasn't a game with a lot of highlights from Diggs but he answered the moment called upon, which is what you look for in a playmaker. When I asked him about playing every game with a target on his back, he simply replied "man it's fun, I love it".