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Robertson has impressive outing in Longview's annual spring game

By Rick Kretzschmar
May 21, 2010 at 6 p.m.

Longview quarterback LaDarrin Robertson took team criticism from coach John King to heart on Friday, and responded with an impressive preview of what he could do this fall.

Robertson had a solid showing, especially in leading a good ground game, at Longview's spring football game. Robertson rushed for 102 yards on 10 carries and accounted for two of Longview's three touchdowns when the Lobo varsity offense faced off against its defense.

Robertson's first touchdown was on his first drive, running 46 yards on a quarterback draw. His second touchdown came on a 19-yard run, but it was more spectacular. After running to the left, Robertson reversed his field back to the right, aided by a bone-rattling block by D'Marjia Devine.

Robertson, a standout receiver in 2009, said there isn't much difference from what he did last year, except for more responsibilities as a quarterback. Earlier this week, King said spring practices have not been good for his team this year, with criticisms such as inconsistency, a lack of effort and lack of leadership.

"Coach King wanted to motivate us. He was right. We only had about two good days of practice this spring," Robertson said. "I guess we were building up for the spring game."

Good running was plentiful for the Lobos led by Shannon Polk with 119 yards on 10 carries, including a 70-yard touchdown run when the varsity reserves faced off. Jhaston Faggans and Khody Hubbard were also impressive with hard-nosed running, gaining 58 yards each. Faggans had nine carries while Hubbard had eight. Robertson, Polk, Faggans and Hubbard combined for 337 yards on 37 carries.

Longview was more modest in its passing game as Robertson was 4-for-9 for 80 yards while reserve Blaine Tomlinson was 2-for-2 for 27 yards. Robertson said offensive linemen such as Spencer Borens, Hank Torres and Chris Malen were solid on run blocking, but the line overall needed to improve on pass protection.

However, Longview's running game was far from perfect. The Lobos had four fumbles, losing three.

"Our running game was better than some of our days this spring, but it only takes three or four plays like the fumbles we had to sour the day," King said.

King said he was impressed with the play of Thomas Jones, capping an outstanding spring for the defensive end. Longview players recording sacks in the game included Larry Thomas, David Woolridge and Aaron Brashear while Diop Johnson had a tackle for a loss.

The best play of the game however may have belonged to receiver Scott Byrd. During the second 12-play sequence for the first-team varsity players, Byrd leaped over the top of a safety and reached down to make a 30-yard reception. Byrd led all players with two receptions for 48 yards. Robertson said with a smile he didn't know where Byrd's leaping ability on that play came from.
"Byrd is about 5-8, 140 pounds ... soaking wet," King said. "He does everything with effort. It's all with heart and smarts."

Practices for the 2010 football season resume on Aug. 9. The Lobos open their 2010 season at Marshall on Aug. 27.



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