Robinson sparkles on offense for Franklin County
MEADVILLE – Running back Chris Robinson hopes he has many more big games for the Franklin County Bulldogs this year. That would be good for him and good for the Bulldogs who are aiming for a Class 3A state championship.
Robinson, a swift and powerful 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior, opened the season with a bang. He rushed for 217 all-purpose yards and scored four touchdowns, sparking the Bulldogs to a 40-0 trouncing of Class 4A North Pike in Louie Mullins Memorial Stadium.
That performance has earned Robinson The DAILY LEADER’s Offensive Player of the Week honors. He had touchdown runs of 5 and 12 yards, plus a 70-yard punt return, as the Bulldogs marched to a 23-0 halftime lead. He finished with 82 yards on 7 carries.
“Chris Robinson had a huge game for us,” said FCHS head coach Rickey O’Quinn. “He was in a zone. He almost returned that interception for a touchdown.”
Robinson starred on defense, too. He chalked up 6 tackles, 2 pass deflections and an interception.
“Chris is a very versatile player,” said O’Quinn. “He’s hard-nosed and physical. He plays bigger than he really is. He’s fast. He did a lot of great things for us on Friday night.”
Robinson provides the fans with thunder and lightning on the gridiron. However, he is a soft-spoken, good-natured young man off the field.
“Chris is a quiet, humble kid,” said O’Quinn. “We look for good things from him this year.”
Robinson shared the glory with his teammates. “It all starts with the team. Our coach motivated us for the game.”
Robinson praised his offensive line. They include left tackle Spencer Touchstone, left guard Conner Quinn, center Jardarius Hall, right guard Carl Jackson and right tackle DeAnthony Hunt.
Hall, Touchstone and Jackson are the seniors on the offensive line. Quin and Hunt are sophomores.
“We have a guard named Carl Jefferson,” said Robinson. “If I had to call a play, I would call on him to pull every time.”
The 17-year-old son of Rachel L. Griffin and Tyrone Robinson is blessed with speed and strength. In the weight room, Robinson squats with 415 pounds., He bench presses 255 and power cleans 245. His best deadlift is 435.
During summer workouts, the Bulldogs concentrated on strength and conditioning. They honed their passing game with quarterback Jay Davis, making numerous 7-on-7 tournaments in Starkville, Hattiesburg and Wesson.
“We worked on 7-on-7 this summer so I really didn’t know that we were going to run the ball much in games,” said Robinson. Coach O’Quinn had a game plan featuring both the air and the ground attacks.
“I got some good blocks on the punt return,” said Robinson. “At halftime, coach told us to keep the ball and work hard. I scored a touchdown. Then I caught a pick.”
Asked about his preference, Robinson said, “I like offense best. On defense, you tackle.
I’ve been playing running back since seventh grade. I started played cornerback when I was in ninth grade.”
Robinson attended an LSU football camp this summer and caught the eye of the coaches with his explosive speed. He ran a 4.45 in the 40-yard dash after notching a 4.9 in his first attempt.
“Jay Davis is doing a good job leading our team,” said Robinson. “We all have stepped up from last year.”
The Bulldogs have visions of winning a state championship. It would be the school’s first since 1994.
“I think we will make it to Jackson,” said Robinson. “I’ve got to have a (state title) ring before I get out of high school.”
He said the Bulldogs are an improved team after finishing 9-4 last season. They lost 19-14 to Forest in the second round of the state playoffs.
“We have a close team and we all get along,” said Robinson. “We have a tight team.”
Robinson praised the FCHS coaching staff. “I’ve been knowing Coach O’Quinn since junior high. He’s married to my cousin. He’s a good head coach. He will joke around with you. He will motivate you before a game.”
Robinson sparkled as a sophomore and he has set higher goals for 2012. “I want to beat my last year’s record. I’ve improved my footwork.”
As a sophomore, he rushed for 1,234 yards and 14 touchdowns. On defense, he had 28 tackles and three interceptions.
Robinson said he’s looking forward to Friday’s home game against the Loyd Star Hornets. “Coach O’Quinn said we can’t overlook Loyd Star. Anything can happen.”