ROBINSON, ILL. —
Robinson’s football team earned a spot in the second round of the Illinois High School Association Class 3A playoffs on Saturday, defeating Anna-Jonesboro 21-20.
The Maroons are 8-2 and will be at undefeated Greenville for their next game.
“This was our first home game in the playoffs since 2000 … I am so proud of our kids,” said coach Tim Nolen after the game played in cool, cloudy and dry conditions.
The visiting team scored first and last but the Maroons’ defense made the difference in the end.
Anna-Jonesboro scored twice in the final period, going 61 yards for the final score of the contest with quarterback Jay Kemp going 2 yards for the six points to make it 21-20 with 2 minutes, 10 seconds left in the game.
Quoting the public-address announcer, “the entire Robinson team” blocked the extra point attempted by Dakota Earnhart to maintain the Maroons’ lead.
The Wildcats held the Maroons on their next possession and had driven to midfield when time ran out on the visiting team.
Anna-Jonesboro received the opening kickoff and drove 63 yards to take a 7-0 lead with Damian Reed going 4 yards for the score and Earnhart kicking his first extra point.
The Wildcats drove to the Robinson 4-yard line on their next possession but the Maroons’ defense held and the offense reversed field, going 96 yards for the first Robinson score with Joe Smith going 3 yards for the touchdown.
He then caught a pass from Darin Cox, the Robinson kicker, to put Robinson up 8-7.
The Robinson defense set up the second score with Connor Griffin intercepting a pass to give the Maroons the football at their own 39-yard line after a 15-yard penality was assessed on the Wildcats.
Smith capped the second scoring drive, busting loose outside and going 43 yards for the score. The Maroons had a 15-7 lead after Cox kicked the extra point.
Robinson got its last touchdown in the third period with Bucky Stevens hooking up with Smith on a 25-yard pass play. The Maroons had a 21-7 lead after the PAT kick was ruled no good.
Kemp’s 1-yard run capped a 61-yard Anna-Jonesboro scoring drive and Earnhart’s kick made it a 21-14 game with nearly 11 minutes left in the game.
Coach Nolen summed up the contest in his postgame remarks.
“We’re the 8 seed, they were the 9 seed. This is exactly the type of game we expected. They are a great team. They played hard. We played hard. We were just able to make one more play,” said the coach.
“Our fake extra point became really big and then we were able to block the extra point. We told our kids this game could come down to PATs and that’s what it did. I am so proud of our kids — how hard they played, how long they played,” he said.
Anna-Jonesboro 7 0 0 13 — 20
Robinson 0 15 6 0 — 21
AJ — Reed 4 run (Earnhart kick) 6:57 1st
R — Smith 3 run (Smith pass from Cox) 3:58 2nd
R — Smith 43 run (Cox kick) 3:33 2nd
R — Smith 25 pass from Stevens (kick failed)
AJ — Kemp 1 run (Earnhart kick) 10:40 4th
AJ — Kemp 3 run (Kick blocked) 2:10 4th
Rushes-yards 44-237 33-128
Passing yards 104 191
Comp-Att-Int 6-21-1 10-19-0
Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-0
Punts-avg 1-36 5-31
Penalties-yards 5-45 6-50
Rushing — AJ: Reed 22-145, Kemp 22-92. Robinson: Richart 12-27, Berty 7-18, Smith 9-69, Stevens 5-14
Passing — AJ: Kemp 6-21-1 104 yards. Robinson: Stevens 10-18-0 191 yards; Cox 0-1-0 0 yards
Receiving — AJ: Dewitt 2-31, Reed 1-3, Anderson 2-45, Fuller 1-25. Robinson — Griffin 2-22, Hoagland 2-43, Smith 2-33, Berty 3-98, Richart 1-(-5)
Next — Robinson (8-2) plays at Greenville in a second-round Class 3A playoff game. Anna-Jonesboro concludes a 7-3 season.