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Robinson cruises to victory over Nashville

by PETE PERKINS SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE | October 9, 2021 at 2:50 a.m.

Joe T. Robinson rolled from the start.

Led by senior quarterback Jack Cleveland, the Senators scored on every first-half possession to take control and pull away for a 62-14 victory over the Nashville Scrappers in 4A-7 Conference play at Charlie George Stadium in Little Rock on Friday night.

"We're continuing to get better," Robinson Coach Todd Eskola said. "We got better from last week. We still missed things, but I honestly don't really care who we play. It's about us trying to get better each week."

Cleveland completed 10 of 15 passes, all in the first half, for 262 yards and 5 touchdowns.

On the second play from scrimmage, Cleveland found junior receiver Brandon Griel with a deep pass for a 54-yard touchdown to give Robinson (5-1, 3-0) a 7-0 lead.

"Robinson is very talented every year," Nashville Coach Mike Volvarich said. "They have a lot of size and a lot of speed. They have a really good ball team."

Senior running back Daryl Searcy scored on a 45-yard screen pass to give Robinson a 14-0 lead with 5:14 left in the first quarter.

Searcy's score was set up when junior linebacker Julian Campos stopped Nashville sophomore running back Tre Hopkins for a 2-yard loss on 4th-and-1.

"Our first team shut them out in the first half," Eskola said. "Our defense keeps getting better each week. Again, that's the mindset of our program."

Searcy led Robinson's rushers with 97 yards on eight carries.

Hopkins led Nashville (2-4, 0-3) with 151 yards on 22 carries.

Robinson's subsequent kickoff was muffed and recovered by junior Dylan Hunt at the Nashville 25. Two plays later, Cleveland's 25-yard touchdown pass to G'Kyson Wright gave Robinson a 21-0 lead.

The next score came on a 32-yard pass from Cleveland to junior receiver Chase Nichols, and Robinson's lead was 28-0 with 1:47 left in the first quarter.

A 6-yard touchdown run by junior running back Noah Freeman gave Robinson a 35-0 lead with 9:25 left in the second quarter.

Wright replaced Cleveland midway through the second quarter, and his 21-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Jamarcus Brown put Robinson's lead at 42-0.

Cleveland returned for Robinson's final first-half possession, and he passed for a 6-yard touchdown pass to junior receiver Kayden Blalock with one second left to give Robinson a 49-0 lead.

The short side of such a score is inconsistent with Nashville's football renown, put in place by seven state championships, including five since 1996. Volarvich led the most recent in 2015.

"You look at Nashville, and we're a team that's been in the quarterfinals the last three seasons," Volvarich said. "There are only two other teams in the state that can say that, but we've just fallen on some tough times right now."

Second-half touchdown runs of 28 and 35 yards by Robinson sophomore running back Jaylen Knowlton and two touchdown runs by Hopkins completed the scoring.

Eskola said he knows Nashville will return to its nights of glory.

"Nashville will bounce back," Eskola said. "There's too much tradition, and it means too much to the town. Every program goes through years where the ball doesn't bounce their way, and right now it hasn't for them, but [Volvarich] has a great staff, and he's a great coach, and they'll be back."

Print Headline: Improving Senators hammer Scrappers

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