FORT VALLEY -- When teams have a player like Demarcus Robinson, they expect him to step up when they need him.
Robinson filled that role perfectly for Peach County on Friday, making two crucial catches, including the game-winner in the Trojans’ 7-6 win over Warner Robins at Anderson Field.
“That’s what we have him for,” Peach County head coach Chad Campbell said. “Pretty sure everybody in the stadium knew we were going to him.”
Robinson skied to make an acrobatic catch in one-on-one coverage in the corner of the end zone with 48 seconds to play to give the Trojans their only touchdown. The 9-yard score was followed by Alfredo Cervantes’ extra point, giving the Trojans the lead.
“I want the ball in those situations,” Robinson said. “I want the chance to make a big play.”
Senior linebacker Temarius Goodman intercepted a Ty Odom pass on fourth down to seal the Trojans’ victory.
“You can’t fault our effort,” Warner Robins head coach Bryan Way said. “The kids played hard.”
After they managed just one first down through the first 19 minutes of the second half, the Trojans finally gathered some momentum as they trailed by six with less than five minutes to play.
First-time starting quarterback Kentel Kendrick found Debarriaus Miller on two third-and-long conversions to keep the Trojans’ hopes alive. Kendrick found Robinson, who is expected to be the wide receiver prospect in Georgia next season, on a 35-yard completion on fourth-and-16. Robinson out-jumped a defender to make the acrobatic catch, which was made possible on a controversial call on third down.
Kendrick rolled around in the pocket for a long time before getting hit by Demons’ defenders. He lost the ball, but officials decided it was an incomplete pass rather than a fumble.
“I’m a little biased,” Way said when asked about the call. “I didn’t get a good look at it.”
“There were bad calls all night,” Campbell said.
Robinson’s long completion followed, but the Demons missed another opportunity to put the game away when they fumbled away an interception attempt on the next play.
Robinson drew a pass interference call on second down, and the junior then caught the touchdown on the jump ball the very next play.
“I think I can go get anything up in the air,” Robinson said.
The teams played nearly three quarters of scoreless football before D.D. Wright scored on a 6-yard run with 1:55 to play in the third quarter. The Demons’ extra point was blocked though, and they led just 6-0.
Warner Robins dominated time of possession throughout the second half until a stalled drive with just under five minutes left gave the ball back to the Trojans.
The loss was a devastating one for the Demons.
A year after a 20-0 loss to Peach County and an eventual 2-8 season, Warner Robins appeared poised to make a statement with a win over the Trojans. Way said his job next week is to make sure the players remember their gutsy effort in Fort Valley, rather than the final score.
“I think we showed a lot of fight (Friday),” Way said. “We have some proud seniors, and I think they’ll bounce back.”