Robinson Daily News

Maroons look to extend win streak against Eagles

There’s a saying that “your most important game is your next one” and that is the philosophy Robinson High School’s football team is taking as the season progresses.

The Maroons seem to have righted the ship with a pair of lopsided victories following two losses to start the season and they want to keep that momentum going when they take the field Friday night.

“We want to continue to carry on the momentum and can’t think that (last week’ win) was good enough,” RHS head coach Casey Pinnell said. “We still have things we can improve on and things we need to continue to get better at, so we need to come back and get another one this week.”

To do that, the Maroons must take care of a Newton team that is reeling from early-season struggles and is in desperation mode when it comes to postseason possibilities.

Newton (1-3, 1-1 LIC) has lost its last two games and three of four to start the season, with their lone win coming over Casey-Westfield (11-8), a team that Robinson handled easily last week. Meanwhile, the Eagles have lost games to Sullivan-Okaw Valley (33-27 in overtime), Lawrenceville (34-7) and Red Hill (22-17).

“Newton is a tough team to figure out,” Pinnell said. “You watch film and they have some big, physical guys up front and some good skill guys, but the have lost three of their first four games. Despite their record, we are not in a position to overlook anyone. We will have to come ready to play.”

Robinson is in a slightly better position, as they have rolled to wins over Marshall (40-13) and Casey-Westfield (44-8) over the past two weeks after opening the season with losses to Roxana (16-13) and Mt. Carmel (62-21).

While things seem to be headed in the right direction for the Maroons, Pinnell says his team should be hungry for more.

“I am looking at this game like it is a playoff game for both teams,” Pinnell said. “We have to look at every game that way. They are all important and this one is a big deal for both teams. Newton is desperate for a win and desperate teams can be hard to deal with. But, we need a win, too.”

To that end, Pinnell is trying to instill in his team not only wanting to win, but expecting to win every time they step on the field.

“We have a big senior class that has been around for a while and taken their lumps and have earned the right to reap the benefits,” Pinnell said. “They are our leaders and one of their jobs is to teach our younger kids how to continue to be successful in the future. We are good enough and have a lot of dudes that have bought in to what we are doing. The key is to not be surprised when we do well, but to expect it. We have to keep learning how to win and how to become winners and be a successful, confident team.”

Keys to the Game

Offense: “We’ve ran the ball well the last two weeks and want to continue to improve with that and clean up some things up front,” Pinnell said. “But the biggest focus for us is ball security. We’ve had six turnovers the last two weeks, so we need to start taking better care of the football. We also want to continue to stay balanced between run and pass, while getting the ball to our athletes in space and let them run around and make plays.”

Defense: “We need to continue to tackle better, especially in the secondary,” Pinnell said. “We also want to be physical between the tackles with our defensive linemen and linebackers. We believe they will try to run the ball and keep it out of our hands as much as possible, so we needed to get them off the field when we have opportunities.”

Last meeting: Robinson 14, Newton 0. Defense won out through most of the contest, but the Maroons were able to manage a touchdown in the third quarter and another in the fourth to pull out the win. Dylan York provided the winning score with a one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, while Wesley Jackson added a 12-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Jackson led RHS with 176 yards rushing on 23 carries and completed five passes for 39 yards. Dylan Johnson added 48 yards on the ground and Rylan King was the leading receiver with two catches for 37 yards. Lain Burgener led Newton with 54 yards passing, while Isaac Flowers was the leading rusher with 39 yards and leading receiver with two catches for 36 yards.

Series history: The Maroons have won two straight in the series and are 63-40-1 in 104 all-time meetings between the two programs.

Injury report: Pinnell noted that illness has been running through the team a bit, but believes most, if not all, should be available on Friday. As for actual injuries, outside of Dylan Johnson, who is out for the season with a knee injury, the only significant injury is to lineman Jacob Shick (ankle), who is listed as questionable for Friday night’s game.

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday at Crosby Field in Robinson.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *