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9/16/2013 1:18:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Robinson 42, Lawrenceville 16
Mistakes costly, Indians suffer first loss
ROBINSON - Lawrenceville High School's football team might not have been its own worst enemy Friday night, but at the same time the Indians certainly didn't help themselves in a 42-16 Little Illini Conference Eastern Division loss to homestanding Robinson.

The Indians failed to convert on two good scoring chances in the opening half as the Maroons (3-0, 1-0 LIC Egyptian) took a 20-0 lead. To further complicate matters, the Indians committed a costly roughing the punter penalty that kept a Robinson scoring drive and gave up a 23-yard TD pass from Bucky Stevens to Landon Hoagland as time ran out in the first half.

"We made way too many mistakes, especially from an offensive standpoint," said LHS coach Greg Wood, whose team lost for the first time in three games and fell to 0-1 in the Egyptian Division. "I thought in the first half we left a couple touchdowns on the field. A good football team like Robinson is going to take advantage of those things."

The Maroons' Joe Smith was the Indians' biggest nemesis on the early going, as he swept his way into the end zone on runs of 33 and 36 yards on back-to-back drives.

After each of Smith's TDs, the Tribe had effective marches, deep into Maroon territory.

The Indians got as close as the Robinson 7-yard line on the first of those possessions. But an incomplete pass on third down and a sack on fourth put an end to the LHS scoring hopes.

Trailing 14-0, the Indians quickly moved to the Robinson 9-yard line, where they had a first-and-goal. Quarterback Zach Shoulders was thrown for a six-yard loss on first down and was stopped for no gain on second. Passes on third and fourth down were incomplete.

"We marched down the field, but then we'd shoot ourselves in the foot - a missed block here or there, or we didn't execute the play. It should have been a much closer game at halftime."

The Indians made their way back into things after recovering an onside kickoff at the outset of the second half. Wood said the onside kick was not planned, but Ryan Seed fell on the ball that traveled about 5 yards off the foot of kicker Bryce Winningham.

Ten plays and 45 yards later the Indians were into the end zone, thanks to Austin Wanke's 22-yard run. A two-point conversion run by Shoulders cut the lead to 20-8.

Robinson was up to the challenge, though. The Maroons, moving strictly on the ground, covered 60 yards in eight plays to extend the lead to three touchdowns.

Jason Richart did the honors, scoring the first of his two touchdowns on a 6-yard run.

The Indians continued to show fight, and for the first time this season struck via the air. Facing fourth and 28 from the Robinson 41, Shoulders fired a pass to Wyatt Rinsch, who was open over the middle. Rinsch fought off a group of tacklers to gain enough yardage for a first down, then continued to speed to paydirt.

"I really proud of them in the second half," Wood said. "I kept talking to them about character, and I think they proved they have some. We could have given up in the second half, and they could have put 65 points up. Robinson is that powerful of a team. We battled back, but were just a little short from a manpower standpoint."

The Maroons finished with 329 yards rushing, including 145 by Richart on 25 carries and 111 by Smith on 11 rushes.

"They've got a lot of weapons," Wood said of the Maroons. "They keep hammering away at you, and soon they're in the end zone. It's a touchdown and you're not really sure what happened. They're a good football team. We played with them fairly well, but just made too many mistakes."

The Indians will host LIC Egyptian foe Newton at 2 p.m. Saturday in their homecoming game. Robinson will travel to Marshall, also in LIC Egyptian play.


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