Readers: Lakewood should have punted
We posted a quick poll Saturday, asking the question: With a 19-15 lead with 2:41 remaining and the ball on its own 40-yard-line, should Lakewood have punted the ball instead of going for it? The Spartans did go for it, didn't make it, leading to a short Robinson drive and game-winning touchdown, ending Lakewood's season.
We had 71 people respond to our question, and 69 percent (or 49 voters) said that Lakewood should have punted, while 22 said hey, it was one lousy yard, go for it and try to seal the game.
Here are some of the responses:
* "I was at the game, i am clearly a Robinson Fan, but i think Lakewood should have gone with it. We were having so much trouble stopping them running the ball i'm sure they would have got the one yard. I'm glad they punted though."
* "Lakewood always loses big games so this was no big deal."
* "The Yes or No selection above misses the point. Lakewood tried to draw Robinson offsides, which they nearly did but the ref didn't call it. That having failed, the ref didn't see the Lakewood coach trying to get a time out. Then the ball was snapped, unfortunately, when it never was Lakewood's intention to run a play in the first place. After the failed attempt at drawing Robinson offside, they should've taken a delay of game penalty and then punted. Given all that, Robinson still had to go forty yards to score in a little over two minutes. They did to end a great football game. I was there and the intensity on both sides was terrific."
* "Your best player is on the sideline with cramps kick it and let your defense win it for you. Also the more yards you can put between you and your end zone the riskier the plays are for the offense."
* "It is the playoffs. Defense wins championships and Lakewood needed to rely on that defense if the championship was really their goal. I like the guts of Coach Moore, but it was not the smart move. Not if you are trying to win a championship. Feel bad though."
* "Robinson's offense isn't a throwing offense, and 70+ yards would be a lot harder for them rather than 40 yards with 2 minutes left."
* "But Lakewood went on 2 count, Robinson jumped offside, the ref didn't not call it, So since they did not get the call, call timeout and then punt. Coach said he did call timeout but the ref did not grant it. The better team did not win last Friday. It is what it is. Pasco is the best team in the area you guys don't cover much. Pasco will make it to State."
* "Look at the score! it was a defensive game and Lakewood was ahead so you think pinning them deep your defense should hold them."
* "It was a big decision with the game on the line. If the choice was made to go for it or to attempt to draw Robinson offsides without a timeout available; I think either Joc or Adams should have been at the QB position to convert the first down."
* "While a Robinson DE did jump into the neutral zone and back as Lakewood's Tracy Johnson pointed at him prior to the snap, the QB could have easily picked up the 1st down if he'd followed his LG instead of jumping into his LT's thigh & fumbling the ball short of the 1st down line. Rather than complain about being cheated in the spot due to the quick whistle, he might consider the whistle blew the play dead prior to his fumble recovered by Robinson."
* "Prior to 4th down, Latimer had been carving 5-6 yards/carry. A hand off would have likely gotten the 1st down again."
* "Punt or instruct QB to take the 5 yard penalty and punt. Johnson should not have decided to run the play on his own but he was in the moment I don't blame the kid."