All-around effort from Asaad Robinson lifts McKeesport past Latrobe

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Friday, September 27, 2019 | 10:47 PM


McKeesport coach Matt Miller could feel it unraveling.

Midway through the third quarter, Latrobe cut his team’s lead to a touchdown when Bobby Fetter ran it in from 1 yard out and added the two-point conversion. The very next play, McKeesport fumbled the kickoff, and Latrobe took over at the Tigers’ 28-yard line.

With the momentum obviously swinging in Latrobe’s favor, it would’ve been easy for McKeesport to self-destruct, to allow a touchdown and maybe even lose the game.

Instead, the Tigers got a defensive stand that led to a 34-14 victory.

“When they went on the field, They weren’t pointing at each other. They were revving each other up,” Miller said. “That was a good sign, that when tides went against us, we came together.”

The Tigers (4-2, 3-1) forced the Wildcats to turn it over on downs at the 20-yard line. A few minutes later, Asaad Robinson threw a 43-yard touchdown to Deamontae Diggs that essentially sunk Latrobe (2-4, 1-3).

That Robinson threw the pivotal touchdown was fitting. The junior running back likes to think of himself as an all-around player and he showed that, catching a 43-yard touchdown pass and running one in from 85-yards out in addition to his key touchdown throw. He even had a sack, too.

That aforementioned throw came on a trick play on fourth down. When Miller called it, he said his assistants were incredulous, given his team’s ground-based personality. But Robinson made the call worth it, throwing a solid ball that the 6-foot-6 Diggs grabbed at its highest point.

“I got basically Julio Jones over there,” Robinson said. “If I throw it to him, he’s going to get that for me. I knew he was gonna get it.”

McKeesport’s defense was stout afterwards, shutting down a Wildcats offense that had seemed to find a solid formula with its running game. Given that McKeesport was coming off a game in which it allowed 40 points in a win over Plum, this was a big step in the right direction.

“Our defense was cool. We did a lot better this week. We got better,” Robinson said. “No runs, no people being lackadaisical. We got that energy up.”

Before McKeesport pulled away, the two teams played a sloppy, back-and-forth game. McKeesport got on the board first when Devari Robinson found Asaad Robinson for a 43-yard catch-and-run touchdown. Throughout the rest of the first quarter and the early second quarter, the two teams combined for five turnovers.

In one stretch, three drives ended in turnovers. McKeesport fumbled, Latrobe fumbled, and McKeesport gave it right back when Robinson was picked. Early in the second quarter, McKeesport muffed a punt at its own 18, but got it right back with an interception from Caleb Reist.

Devari Robinson scored on a 6-yard touchdown run afterwards, which was matched by a 13-yard touchdown run by Fetter. Asaad Robinson followed up with his 85-yard run, which saw him take a pitch and leave everybody in the dust.

“He’s one of those guys where you don’t know. He’s one of those slow-moving guys, but as soon as he gets the ball, he takes off,” Miller said. “He caught that pitch and there was some guys with some angles, but he made a heck of a run.”

After taking a 21-6 lead into halftime, McKeesport mitigated Latrobe’s comeback attempt, with Asaad Robinson’s throw and Davari Robinson’s 44-yard touchdown run. Davari finished with 130 rushing yards, leading a dynamic rushing game that complimented the Tigers’ defensive performance.

“That was definitely one of our better performances, just playing four quarters,” Miller said. “We haven’t won a fourth quarter all season, but we won the fourth quarter today, and that’s a good sign.”

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