2017-09-12 / Sports

Offense unleashed in 67-62 win

Whitehead contributes 43 points against Rockets; Badgers break road losing streak
BY JEFF LOWE
DISPATCH RECORD


Badger running back Sean Williams (11) follows blocks by Kanon Kennedy (70) and Owen Davis (37) during his four-touchdown performance Friday at Robinson. 
JEFF LOWE | DISPATCH RECORD Badger running back Sean Williams (11) follows blocks by Kanon Kennedy (70) and Owen Davis (37) during his four-touchdown performance Friday at Robinson. JEFF LOWE | DISPATCH RECORD The Badgers (1-1) wrecked the Robinson defense for nine touchdowns on Friday and ended a nearly three-year road losing streak.

In the 67-62 win, freshman Ace Whitehead threw five touchdown passes to Brandon Pierino – three of them in the final quarter.

Sean Williams stampeded across Rocket Field for 353 yards and four rushing touchdowns, constantly breaking tackles.

Both teams topped 600 yards of total offense.

Robinson quarterback Mason Cooper led his team with six touchdowns and 386 total yards.

The combined 129 total points and 1,289 yards of total offense came just short of the gaudy numbers put up in last year’s Lampasas- Robinson game. Robinson won that match-up 70-68 and had beaten the Badgers three years in a row, before Friday.

The Badgers’ last victory on the road was against Canyon Lake in 2014.

On Friday, Lampasas’ offensive line showed huge improvement after allowing nine sacks in the season-opening loss to Fredericksburg. Starting with the first drive, the line paved the way for consistent positive yardage.

“We had to fight really hard,” Pierino said. “It was a close game, but we came out to win.”

The receiver added, “I’m proud of our quarterback and our line for giving us blocks.”

The quarterback also commented on the win.

“It feels really, really good,” Whitehead said. “And it’s something we can build off of, because there were ups and downs in that game. But as a team, as a whole, we just stayed together and we kept the energy high. And we were able to capitalize on their mistakes and keep them from capitalizing on ours...”


Landon Irvin (33), Ethan Rascoe (4) and a handful of Robinson Rockets fight for the ball on an onside kick in the second half. The two teams combined for nearly 1,300 yards of offense. In the fourth quarter alone, they combine for 57 points. 
JEFF LOWE | DISPATCH RECORD Landon Irvin (33), Ethan Rascoe (4) and a handful of Robinson Rockets fight for the ball on an onside kick in the second half. The two teams combined for nearly 1,300 yards of offense. In the fourth quarter alone, they combine for 57 points. JEFF LOWE | DISPATCH RECORD “Everyone worked super, super hard this week,” Whitehead added.

Pierino said having teammates like Whitehead and Williams “helps me out a lot, because I have other players that are good, so [opponents] won’t just have to focus on one player.”

It took the Badgers awhile to get heated up offensively.

They fell behind 14-7 in the first quarter, and trailed 21-7 early in the second quarter.

Williams’ first touchdown – near the middle of the second quarter – sparked a 23-point run by the Badgers.

Clayton Bever recovered a Rocket fumble on a kickoff, setting up another touchdown drive that Williams finished.

Williams’ second touchdown brought the Badgers within one point of the home team.

Daunte Cuffie returned a punt to the Robinson 37-yard line with about 20 seconds to go in the half.

A Ryan Fesler reception put the team in field-goal range, and he got out of bounds to stop the clock.

Fesler’s seven receptions and 45 yards may have been overshadowed by Pierino’s five touchdowns, but Fesler has established himself as a very reliable target on short-range passes. He has 14 receptions and over 100 yards through two games.

Whitehead kicked a 34-yard field goal as the first half expired to give Lampasas its first lead of the night. On his first attempt, Robinson called a timeout just before the ball was snapped, and the kick was no good. The timeout allowed a re-kick, which sailed through the uprights.

The Badgers wasted no time in the third quarter. A kick return by Dylan Kannan gave them good field position, and 21 seconds into the half, Williams raced to the end zone for his third score.

Robinson and Lampasas took turns scoring until a fourth-down play when Jack Procter led a group of tacklers in sacking Mason Cooper.

After that turnover on downs, Lampasas went on a 17-0 run and led 54-34 near the middle of the fourth quarter.

Both offenses kicked it into high gear in the last period. Cooper led his team to four additional touchdowns – including passes to Jordan Rogers and Isaiah Houston.

Whitehead connected with Pierino three times in the quarter and also made a 33- yard field goal.

Also in the fourth quarter, Seth Cockrell intercepted a pass, Koby Allen recovered an onside kick, and Landon Irvin recovered a fumble on a kickoff.

Robinson scored the last points of the day, cutting the Badger lead to 67-62 with a touchdown pass from Cooper to Rogers and a PAT kick. That left 57 seconds left on the clock. Procter -- a linebacker -- recovered the final onside kick, and Lampasas ran out the clock.

The Badger defense had a rough night on Friday, but they had a few stops at the right time and kept fighting.

“Coach has just instilled to finish in us since the offseason, and we just had to finish,” Procter said. “And we just kept on grinding.”

The game taught the Badger defense to “never quit, and just hold your players accountable and watch out for dumb penalties,” Procter said.

“We played as a team, and we play every play,” Williams said. Compared to the previous week, the win at Robinson was “a major difference. We worked harder in the weight room this week, and it showed.”

“It’s an amazing win…,” Williams added. “We just had to prove them wrong.”

Earlier in the week, Lampasas head coach Troy Rogers said he did not expect a repeat of last year’s shootout.

“I didn’t see that one coming, but I didn’t see it coming last year either...,” he said on Friday. “I was really proud of the guys for answering the call. Every time, they answered the call, and that’s what we ask.”

Rogers also said the Badgers’ “O line did a great job opening up holes. Sean did what Sean does, which is make people miss and tough running.

“Brandon showed up and did what we know Brandon can do,” the coach added. “And I can’t say enough about the composure of Ace to be a freshman and be able to go in there and have guys playing man coverage on you, and he’s still finding open receivers.”

After Friday’s emotional rush, the Badgers have to settle in and focus on a stronger defensive team, Wimberley (2-0) this week.

“We’re gonna take every single game as [if] we’re 0-0 and that’s our record,” Williams said.

Wimberley will host Lampasas at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

Return to top