Early mistakes doom Robinson in shutout
September 23, 2011
LITTLE ROCK The toughest obstacle for Pulaski Robinson to overcome on Friday night, wasn't anything Ashdown put in front of them, but rather, what the Senators keep doing to themselves.
Robinson surrendered two defensive touchdowns in the first half — one a 103-yard interception return — and trailed by three scores at halftime en route to a 28-0 loss to the Panthers at Charlie George Stadium.
"Just turnovers, that was it," Robinson coach Todd Eskola said. "We felt like we moved the ball on them when we weren't turning the ball over and penalties just absolutely killed us. We had a few things that we felt like we missed early that hurt a couple of their drives."
Ashdown (4-0) survived an ugly start by both teams in the first half, with neither team cracking the end zone and combining for total yards. Ashdown took the lead on a 6-yard run by Daven Burns run with 10:08 left in the second quarter that was set up when Robinson (3-1) gave the Panthers drive life with a pass interference penalty on a fake punt.
The mental error was the start of a domino effect of problems the Senators never recovered from.
Less than two minutes later, Senators' quarterback Logan Howard fumbled a snap in the shotgun and failed to pick it up, allowing Ashdown to scoop it and take it in from 32-yards out for a 14-0 advantage.
The preverbal backbreaker came with 1:12 left in the half on the best drive of the night for Robinson, sitting at the Ashdown 25-yard line when Howard dropped back and tossed it up to Ryan Scarborough in the endzone, who was double-covered. Roy Jetton came down with it in the front-left corner, and realizing he had nothing but open space in front of him, took off up the sideline, scampering 75 yards behind a parade of blockers, angling toward the middle at the Robinson 25 and taking it the rest of the way to finish off the scoring for the half.
"I saw no. 2 (for Robinson) didn't chase me, so I just lucky," Jetton said of the pick-6. "My guys had some good blocking downfield and I put a move on (Scarborough) and got in the endzone."
Neither team was terribly efficient in the first half, with the Panthers going for 97 total yards, 84 on the ground from Daven Burns alone, who finished with 152. The Senators finished with 89 first-half yards, with over half of that coming on Howard's 56-yard run on the first offensive play of the game.
Both teams had their chances, combining for six fourth-down conversion attempts in the first half.
In the third quarter, Ashdown rode Burns to the end, giving him 12 carries and running out the clock with efficiency. A blocked punt late in the quarter provided the only scoring of the half.
The Panthers defense continues to dominate, recording their second shutout of the season and holding their third straight opponent to under 10 points.
"Defensively, we're pretty aggressive, and we're going to attack first," Ashdown coach Matt Richardson said. "That's going to be the first thing we do. So that's the thing, we're going to make them make mistakes and when they make it, hopefully we're going to be there to pounce on it."