It seemed like a sound strategy. With Robinson's three best players playing both ways, Durant would try to string together long drives behind a gritty offensive line and a pair of capable running backs, David Mahoney and Chad Lee. Surely, the Knights would fatigue by the fourth quarter.
If the game were an extra quarter it might have worked. Zain Gilmore, Desmond Allison and Larrell Johnson accounted for all of Robinson's touchdowns in a 33-24 win over the Cougars.
"Anytime you've got an Allison, a Gilmore and a Johnson you know that those guys are a threat any time they put their hands on the ball," Robinson coach Bud Hodgens said. "Those guys seldom come off the field. We try to slip 'em in and out. We're not a real deep ballclub. But our coaches do a good job of managing 'em."
Durant (4-3) looked to be managing Robinson's stars in a different way. Gilmore, a running back/defensive back, scored on a 48-yard run on the Knights' first play, one of only six plays Robinson (7-1) would get off in the first quarter. Behind the running of Mahoney and Lee, who each had more than 100 yards, Durant answered with a 67-yard scoring drive.
By halftime, Durant had a 37-8 advantage in plays from scrimmage, yet trailed 14-10. In the second quarter, Gilmore scored on a 55-yard interception return.
Allison, a wide receiver/defensive back, caught a 38-yard TD pass from Chuck Wright in the third to put the Knights up 20-10.
"We play aggressive football, but when we play teams with a lot of speed they get those big plays on us," Durant coach Jim Wilt said.
Johnson, a linebacker/fullback, scored on a 2-yard run later in the quarter and made a crucial fourth-quarter interception. Gilmore, who rushed for 171 yards, added a 37-yard TD run with 2:29 left to play.