Montgomery, Ala.—Defending 4A state champion Thomasville lost its preseason game against 5A opponent Hueytown 36-27 on Friday, but it did find a bright spot in the backfield to replace some key personnel losses from last season’s undefeated squad.
Senior running back John Knight (6-0, 185) scored on a pair of long touchdowns in the first half and a 35-yard reception in the third quarter.
“I just saw the holes,” Knight says of his long runs. “I saw the holes and I hit them. The line held up real good and I hit them full speed.”
Thomasville was playing up in classification against a team with one of the nation’s top players, quarterback Jameis Winston. The Tigers were also trying to replace Michael Thornton and James Jones in the backfield.
The Golden Gophers were going to get their points with Winston running the show. Knight’s long runs in first half gave the Tigers a 21-14 halftime lead and his third score of the game kept them in it late in the third quarter.
“It was a screen,” Knight says. “I blocked the end, and then they throw it to me. Then I’m supposed to read the offensive line and they take me where I’m supposed to go. I saw the hole and hit it. Then at the end I just split them all.”
Knight’s 4.46 speed came in handy as several defenders should have had a chance to make the play, but he split all of them and dashed into the end zone.
Thomasville’s regular season starts on Friday against the defending 1A champs in a game that will surely involve plenty of rushing plays and more opportunities for Knight. “We’ve got Sweet Water coming up and we’re just going to play them hard and try to get a ‘W’ there.”
Knight said after the game against Hueytown, “I’m getting letters from Southern Miss, Western Kentucky, Troy, Tulane, Memphis, South Alabama. They’re not talking about offering scholarships yet to this point, so I don’t know.”
However, after his strong performance where he gained 162 yards on 10 carries and also 10 tackles from his linebacker position, Troy extended a scholarship offer.
Stay tuned to Scout.com as Knight’s recruitment continues to gain steam throughout his senior season.
Follow Stephen Atkinson on Twitter for recruiting updates.
Click the link below for highlights of John Knight versus Hueytown.