September 26, 2009 10:08:00 PM
Presbyterian Christian quarterback David Roberts likes to throw the football.
But Roberts knew Friday night that the field conditions at Heritage Academy''s C.L. Mitchell Field in Columbus would make that difficult.
Roberts completed only 4 of 10 attempts, but he made up for it with his legs, rushing 13 times for 69 yards to help the Bobcats earn a 20-7 victory on the Patriots'' homecoming.
Roberts helped fuel a Presbyterian Christian running game that accounted for 201 yards.
"To win a game this way for a team that has really never been physical before speaks volumes about our kids," Presbyterian coach Joey Hawkins said.
Roberts showed a tough running style for the Bobcats (5-1), and often carried two to three defenders on his back for gains.
"I''ve never been a big runner, but I just wanted to do whatever I could to help my team win," Roberts said. "It surprised me.
"Heritage was a great team with great players, and their defensive line was unbelievable. We knew the field was going to be sloppy. We knew the key was get it in the trenches and run the ball. I thought we executed that part well."
Roberts said it has rained just as much at Presbyterian Christian''s home in Hattiesburg, which allowed the Bobcats to practice in the mud.
Hawkins was pleased with the way his team rallied after a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Will Swedenburg with 3 minutes, 49 seconds left in the first quarter helped give the Patriots a 7-0 lead.
"To get down 7-0 in these conditions, it''s really like two touchdowns when you are trying to call plays, but our kids kept fighting, scrapping and clawing and found a way to win the ballgame," Hawkins said.
Heritage Academy (3-3) self-destructed in the second quarter with three turnovers and five penalties for 40 yards.
After not being penalized in the first quarter, the penalties came at the wrong time for the Patriots.
"The same song and fifth verse by this point," Heritage coach Brad Butler said. "(Penalties) came at bad times, and that''s something that''s happened every week.
"It goes back to coaching. We''ve got to do a better job of coaching. The coaches have got to put the players in situations where they know what to do and apparently we''re not knowing what to do at this point."
The Bobcats capitalized on the Patriots'' misfortune and scored 12 points in the second quarter. Brantley Hudson (21 carries, 92 yards) had a 10-yard touchdown run, while 6-foot, 256-pound lineman Dink Lumley reported eligible in the backfield and carried for a 4-yard score.
Hawkins called the Patriots "as tough as any team we''ve played and can beat anyone on a given night." He knew it would take a solid game from his squad, which didn''t have a turnover.
"We''ve done a good job of not making very many turnovers the last few games, and it''s really big for us," Hawkins said. "Their line is so big and strong, but we wore them down and started getting some first downs."
Presbyterian Christian had nine first downs in the second half and held Heritage Academy to one.
Butler tried to hit the Bobcats with the one-two punch of running backs Cole Eller (nine, 68) and Chris Uhl (12, 44).
Even though neither found the end zone, Butler was pleased with his running backs.
"Our thought our backs ran harder tonight then they''ve been running even though we were in this quagmire," Butler said. "We''ve been using (Eller) some at fullback, and I thought he did a good job of running the football."
Butler said the Patriots are hurting now that their losing streak has reached three games.
He said the focus must be getting back to District 1-AAA, Division 2 play. Heritage will play host to Magnolia Heights on Friday.
"We are 1-1 in the conference, so we''re all right, but we''ve got to get this boat sailing back on the right path," Butler said. "We''ve got a good football team. There''s no doubt about that.
"I hate losing, and I''m not going to get used to it. We''ve got to keep coming to work every day, get better, and we''ve got to address these penalties."