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Friday Night Hero: North Rowan’s Xavier Robinson

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
SPENCER ó There are just 26 North Rowan Cavaliers left after a dose of disciplinary dismissals and injuries that sidelined standouts such as Oshon West, Pierre Givens and Jake Becker.
ěLots of injuries and those injuries are to key people,î North coach Tasker Fleming explained. ěBut Iím proud of our young guys. On Friday, we had four TDs by freshmen and three by sophomores.î
North Rowanís kids are being asked to mature quickly, and the growth chart shows major progress. They clobbered North Moore 60-0 at Eagle Stadium on Friday for their first YVC victory.
Sophomore Xavier Robinson, already in his second varsity season, stood tallest of all against North Moore, blocking a punt to set up a TD and busting a 77-yard scoring run.
ěHe definitely deserves a little bit of the spotlight,î Fleming said. ěHeís rarely off the field now.î
Back in July, Fleming had visions of 60-plus Cavaliers manning the varsity and JV rosters, but stuff happens.
ěNow itís 26 on varsity, but thatís still not bad numbers for a 1A school,î Fleming said. ěActually, if we were in the eastern part of the state those would be pretty good 1A numbers.î
Robinson entered this season as a starting safety, with the expectation of limited carries as the backup tailback.
August seems like a long time ago.
ěWeíve had to use him at tight end, fullback, tailback, DB and linebacker,î Fleming said. ěBut he acts like he should. He handles it. Guy like him who can go both ways allow us to fill in the gaps.î
Itís not like Robinson is upset about being a 48-minute man.
ěI look at it as pretty good playing time,î he said cheerfully. ěIím not tired. Friday canít get here quick enough.î
The 180-pound Robinson has settled in now as the top tailback for an I-formation team. Whatever beating he takes in that role, he pays back when heís on defense. Usually, heís a linebacker.
ěWeíve lost some kids,î defensive coordinator Rodney Goodine said. ěSo heís an inside linebacker now. It took him a while to get the hang of where to go, but heís catching on. You can see it starting to click. Every game, heís reading better and moving quicker to the ball.î
Robinsonís tailback duties against North Moore included a 77-yard dash that turned the Cavsí worst field position all night into an instant touchdown.
ěGreat blocking, not just by the line but by our receivers,î Robinson said. ěI saw the hole and ran for daylight.î
Also a special teams standout and captain of the punt team, Robinson turned in a backbreaking play Friday with the Cavaliers leading 14-0 late in the first half. He came off the edge, smothered a North Moore punt and recovered it himself at the NM 23.
ěNo one touched me,î Robinson said. ěI just shot right through there.î
Robinson was excited to see his teamís three-game losing skid end with a school-record blowout.
ěIt was great that we played so well as a team,î he said. ěThereís no reason we canít do that every game.î
The Cavs (2-5) realize itíll be tougher tomorrow. They go to Albemarle, ranked second in 1A. The Bulldogs are talented, and thereís 42 of them.
ěThatís something that a lot of people really donít understand,î Goodine said. ěA lot of our kids have to play both ways. Their legs will get tired, and theyíll be going up against fresh legs that they donít have. Kids like Robinson will have to play ironman football like they did in the old days.î

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