North hero: Mike Robinson
SPENCER — It looks like Mike Robinson got the memo.
North Rowan needed someone to emerge from hiding and make a loud opening statement in Friday’s game against visiting Carson. “And what he did,” coach Joe Nixon indicated, “was just huge.”
Robinson — a 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back for the Cavs — was smack in the middle of two pivotal turnovers as North outscored the Cougars 34-15 and improved to 2-0.
“Last year we didn’t win close games,” said Robinson, a senior who blocked a first-quarter punt and recovered a fourth-period fumble. “We can’t let teams hang around. We had to find a way to win that game and win it fast.”
The Cavs can thank Robinson for providing an early lead. He channeled his flair for improvising following Carson’s game-opening series. Facing fourth-and-7 from the North 40-yard line, CHS punter Andrew Hower fielded a snap and was cordially welcomed to Mike Rob’s personal block party.
“I’m not sure how he does it,” said North teammate and close friend Kasaun Coney. “But he is really good at blocking punts. He’s got speed and the ability to squeeze through people. And when he runs, his feet never stop.”
That’s the formula Robinson used to electrify the home crowd just 4:19 into the game. He lined up on the left side of the line of scrimmage, made an angular bee-line for Hower and soared across the ball. “They tried to block me,” he said. “Two guys, the tackle and the up-man, got their hands on me. But nobody got all of me.”
It was North’s Kenyon Tatum, a special teams head-hunter, who scooped up the ball and raced 48 yards to the end zone. Moments later teammate Xavier Robinson had a 41-yard pick-six and the Cavs were up 12-0 before its offense even took the field.
North gave much of that edge back and led by just 18-15 at halftime. But that’s when Robinson delivered an all-points-bulletin that was heard loud and clear.
“It was a simple comment,” said defensive coordinator Steve Williams. “If they don’t score, they don’t win. That’s what he said. That’s him becoming a leader.”
North got that memo as well. It limited Carson to 64 second-half yards and clinched the win when Robinson stripped and recovered a fumble with 6:03 remaining.
“No more points,” Robinson said. “That’s what I told them. Fifteen is all they get. That’s all I had to say.”