That was Daniel Robinson’s first half.
The Lumberton High School senior shed through Seventy-First’s defense for 243 rushing yards and four touchdowns Friday night, steering the Pirates to a 42-26 home-opening win over the Falcons at Alton G. Brooks Stadium.
“I kept running hard and my line kept blocking and they said just follow inside,” said Robinson, who carried the ball 26 times. “I did a juke move when I eneded to and shook them off and scored when I had to.”
Robinson wasted no time moving the chains for Mike Brill’s Wing-T rush attack, which finished with 345 yards on the ground, as his number was called on Lumberton’s first three plays. And on his third carry, Robinson broke free for a 17-yard gain. Three clips later — after a 17-yard rush of his own from Josh Sheridan — Robinson juked in a 13-yard touchdown run at 8 minutes, 39 seconds in the first. Jace Ward nailed his first of four extra points on the night to give Lumberton (3-1) an early 7-0 lead.
Robinson and the Pirates, who never gave up the lead the rest of the way, were just getting started.
“We were just taking what they were giving us, and I was kind of surprised with the stuff we were getting,” Brill sad. “We just hoped to score and the kids did what they could and that’s all I can ask … We won another and that’s what counts.”
Shouldering the load was Robinson, who opened the second quarter with his longest scoring run of the game, a 45-yard scamper to the paydirt to put LHS up 13-0 early in the second.
“He’s special,” Brill said. “Our stuff is based around him — and my other guys can run, too. He’s an All-Stater. He’s that good.”
After Seventy-First (0-4) trimmed the lead to 13-6 on a 1-yard plunge by Jonathon McNeill, Sheridan took the rushing reigns and weaved in a 28-yard score with 5:05 left in the half, leaving Lumberton comfortably in front, 20-6.
The Pirates, however, saw a rejuvenated Falcons, who run the Wing-T as well under Bob Paroli, in the second half. Paroli, a 55-year head coach with 403 career wins, has declared this to be his last at Seventy-First.
Fueled by tailback Brandon Fife, who ran for a team-high 111 yards on 13 carries, the Falcons kept the Pirates on their heels in the third quarter.
Bryan Carpenter finished off a 3-minute drive with an 11-yard touchdown trot and Fife followed with a showstopping 48-yard touchdown grab on the game’s first pass completition — and only fourth overall throw – of the game. DeBarron Nixon lofted the pass down the right sideline and Fife snagged it at the 15-yard-line, knifed to the middle of the field and froze two defenders with a nifty juke as he crossed the goal line.
When the dust settled, Lumberton was holding on to a 20-18 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
“They run the Wing-T, we run the Wing-T, so we pretty much know what they were going to do the whole time,” Lumberton senior linebacker Mac McGill said. “When they scored on us it became a guessing game but eventually we caught on to what they were doing.”
The same couldn’t be said for Seventy-First. Not even when the Pirates’ passing game made a rare appearance, as Lumberton’s first-year quarterback Jez Deese hooked up with a wide-open Allen Thompson on his third passing attempt of the game for an 18-yard touchdown toss at 11:40 in the fourth. Thompson wasn’t done. Serving as the holder on the extra-point, he scooped up a botched snap and scurried in for the 2-point run to put Lumberton up 28-18.
Seventy-First found the end zone one last time on an 8-yard run from McNeill, who had 94 yards on 16 carries, and a 2-point run from Fife to cut it back to two, 28-26, with 8:51 to go.
From there, Robinson, who appeared to gain endurance as the game wore on, was primed to finish what he started. On the first play of the Pirates’ ensuing drive, Robinson patiently followed his lead blockers before cutting into the open field for a 44-yard touchdown run.
After Seventy-First gave up the ball on its own 38 on a last-ditch fourth down at 4:41, Robinson was fed the ball seven times before punching in a 1-yard score to round out the 42-26 final tally.
“I just came and did what had to be done, we just couldn’t let them come back,” Robinson said.
Reach Sports editor Kaleb Roedel at 910-272-6111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Lumberton 42, Seventy-First 26
LHS 7 13 0 22 — 42
SF 0 6 12 8 — 26
LHS — Daniel Robinson 13 run (Jace Ward kick)
LHS — Robinson 45 run (kick failed)
SF — Jonathon McNeill 1 run (run failed)
LHS — Josh Sheridan 28 run (Ward kick)
SF — Bryan Carpenter 11 run (run failed)
SF — Brandon Fife 48 pass from DeBarron Nixon (run failed)
LHS — Allen Thompson 18 pass from Jez Deese (Thompson run)
SF — McNeill 8 run (Fife run)
LHS — Robinson 44 run (Ward kick)
LHS — Robinson 1 run (Ward kick)
Rushing: LHS —Robinson 26-243, Sheridan 4-69, Thompson 3-26, Montrae Strother 1-7. SF — Fife 13-111, McNeill 16-94, Paul Underwood 13-87.
Passing: LHS — Deese 2-3-20-1. SF — Nixon 1-4-1-48-1.
Receiving: LHS — Thompson 1-18, Yaquin Mathis 1-2. SF — Fife 1-48.
Records: Lumberton 2-1, Seventy-First 0-3.