Xavier Robinson runs for 4 TDs in comeback win
By Jacob Sturm
Midwest City Beacon
When the game became tied, Midwest City’s favorable position had officially gone awry.
Xavier Robinson, Carl Albert’s featured running back, had found a groove with the ball in his hands as he patiently dissected the Midwest City defense at every touch.
In the Titans 39-25 comeback victory against the Bombers, Robinson’s power off the line of scrimmage delivered the punishment and Midwest City couldn’t cope.
At halftime, the opposite looked to be more of the case.
DeAngelo Irvin, Midwest City’s starting quarterback, showed off his moves to the Titans detriment throughout the first half. That included a consistent rushing attack on the opening drive where Irvin darted between defenders as the Bombers methodically walked down field.
On the night, Irvin tallied 186 rushing yards to lead the Bombers.
Derrion Rodgers then entered the fray and powered Midwest City into the end zone just when the Titans defense started catching on to Irvin’s read option.
As methodical as Midwest City appeared, Carl Albert took the short and sweet approach. Trystan Haynes fielded, and scored, the ensuing Midwest City kickoff, returning it 80 yards for an instant response and placing the Titans defense back on the field nearly instantly.
Then, Irvin bailed the Bombers out of a precarious spot. On what appeared to be third and too long, Irvin scrambled out of a collapsing pocket and darted down field, breaking free from the defense for a 64-yard touchdown. Midwest City coach Darrell Hall liked what the first half offered.
“First half, I thought that we were able to execute our offense to a tee,” Hall said. “The only drive that we didn’t score on was (because) we had a penalty on (it) that put us behind the chains… but the second half we didn’t get it done.”
The Titans didn’t have it long.
An interception took the Titans offense off the field early in the following series. When they finally got extensive action, Midwest City had completed another methodical drive that tallied points.
What really challenged for the Bombers started afterward.
Carl Albert coach Mike Dunn said he told his team to stay with it, even when the Titans trailed 19-7 in the second quarter.
“We had a feeling that if we could make it into a four-quarter dog fight, that we would come out and do what we do at Carl Albert,” Dunn said. “And we put it on our offensive line, put it on our death-squad defense. And that’s kind of what we did in the second half.”
“…We talked about (how) they were going to come out firing,” Dunn said. “It’s a big game, a big rivalry. We just had to withstand some shots there. We knew that.”
Dunn gave the credit to his players for not complaining when they were down, but instead kept chipping away.
Robinson, who had been the main source of Titan offense once they saw consecutive snaps in the second quarter, rumbled his way into the end zone with 7:05 until halftime to give the Titans momentum. That only started the Bombers demise.
“I knew they couldn’t stop me,” Robinson said.
To further the point, Robinson finished the game with 264 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 30 attempts.
He also found the end zone on three more occasions, scoring touchdowns to draw Carl Albert even at 25, take the lead (32-25) and compound the Bombers task (39-25). He also said the key to keeping it rolling on the ground came from staying consistent and focused.
Once the second half got going, the Midwest City fatigue started to set in. In the end, that cost a lead and the game.
“It’s a 48-minute game and we played 24,” Hall said. “Playing 24 will get you beat every time. So, we’re expecting to see those guys later on down the road.”
Dunn said Carl Albert felt good about the run game, leading to less passing than usual from the Titan offense. That in part came through Robinson not playing defensive snaps, which Dunn said kept him fresh for the offensive performance.
His patience and speed impressed.
“It’s pretty unbelievable,” Dunn said. “You look at him and you see his stature. He’s 6’2 and 225 pounds, but what people don’t realize is how fast he is…When you can break runs like he did against those guys who are way fast, that’s a state championship track-type team. When he can break runs against them and not get caught, that’s pretty special.”
“He’s an elite back,” Dunn said. “He’s an elite athlete. We felt good about it all night long. We felt good about feeding him. At halftime, we said get him the rock.”
On Friday, that’s all it took.