The return of sophomore running back Daryl Searcy Jr. was a boon for Joe T. Robinson in its regular-season finale.
The Senators, most noted for their passing attack, followed Searcy to a 35-6 victory over the Benton Harmony Grove Cardinals at Charlie George Stadium in Little Rock on Thursday night. Searcy had missed the previous three weeks with a broken hand.
He carried 13 times for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns to become another factor to consider for any team that faces Robinson in the Class 4A playoffs that begin next Friday.
"We've worked nine months for the next five weeks," Robinson Coach Todd Eskola said. "This is the time for our kids to really get excited. They know this is what we've worked for."
Benton Harmony Grove had possession for 34:02 of the 48-minute game, but three turnovers and a long kick return led to quick points for Robinson (9-1, 6-1 4A-7).
"You can't fumble the ball against a team like this and expect to have a chance," Benton Harmony Grove Coach Mike Guthrie said.
Benton Harmony Grove (4-6, 2-5) scored its only points on the game's opening possession after a 14-play, 74-yard drive used 8:04. A 1-yard sneak by sophomore quarterback Hunter Williams gave Benton Harmony Grove a 6-0 lead with 3:45 left in the first quarter.
"When you play a team like that the first time, you just have to get kind of acclimated," Eskola said. "You don't panic. You just have to settle down and play football."
Robinson responded with a 45-yard kickoff return by senior Martell Nunally to the Benton Harmony Grove 23. Two plays later, Searcy scored on a 22-yard run. Junior Salvador Gabriel's extra point gave Robinson the lead for keeps at 7-6.
"[Searcy is] a heck of a running back," Eskola said. "He's a big, strong kid with speed."
A fumble recovered by senior linebacker on the third play of Benton Harmony Grove's subsequent drive gave Robinson the ball at the Benton Harmony Grove 44. Senior Chandler McIntosh's 1-yard run seven plays later gave Robinson a 14-6 lead with 11:11 left in the fourth quarter.
Touchdown passes from junior quarterback Buddy Gaston to senior receiver PJ Hall of 11 and 28 yards, the latter with 9:14 left in the third quarter, gave Robinson a 28-6 lead.
A fumble by Benton Harmony Grove midway through the fourth quarter stopped a scoring chance and gave Robinson possession at its 9. Searcy carried the ball 91 yards for a touchdown on the next play.
"Athletically, we're not anywhere in the same world with them, much less in the same conference," Guthrie said.
Sports on 11/08/2019
Print Headline: Returning RB bolsters Robinson