From kickoff until the end of the game, the Red Bluff Spartans plan of attack was clear — they were going to feed workhorse running back, Braden Robinson.
The senior rushed for 158 yards on 24 carries to lead Red Bluff to a 28-21 road win over Enterprise on Friday at the Hornets’ Nest and snap a two-game skid.
On the opening possession, the Spartans gashed the Hornets defense for large chunks that led to a 3-yard TD run by Red Bluff quarterback Clyde Shaver. On the drive, Robinson bulldozed his way through the Hornets defense for gains of 12, 7, 10, 5, and 15 yards on the ground.
Enterprise (1-3) would respond on its next drive, as Hornets quarterback David Sheffer (13-of-22 passing, 140 yards and two touchdowns) connected with junior receiver Jahari Johnson for 38 yards, which tied the game at 7 early in the first quarter.
Once the Spartans (2-2) got the back, it was right back to the same plan: run the ball. Large gains by Robinson, Shaver and Mohammad Holmes set up Shaver’s second touchdown run of the evening, giving the Spartans a 13-7 lead.
The Hornets seemed to have made adjustments to fix their leaky defense in second quarter. Not only were the Spartans unable to move the ball on the ground, Shaver left the game with an ankle injury. Shaver is a dangerous weapon on the read-option, and with him out of the game, the Hornets keyed on Robinson.
However, junior quarterback Caiden Wehbey stepped in and on his first pass, the first pass of the game for the Spartans, he connected on a 19-yard touchdown with Caden Sanders to give the Spartans a 20-7 lead.
Later in the second quarter, the Spartans were threatening inside Enterprise territory, but the Hornets forced a sack and fumble. Three plays later, Eli Cortinas, who had been bottled up for most of the game, got open on a screen down the sideline, and took it 32 yards to the house, sparking the Hornets who were down 20-14 at halftime.
In the second half, Enterprise was inside the Red Bluff 5-yard line, but the Spartans intercepted the ball. However, three plays later, the Hornets would return the favor with an interception of their own. Hornets junior defensive linemen Donovan Reyna picked off Wehbey and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Hornets their first lead of the game, 21-20 in the third quarter.
The Spartans would reclaim the lead later in the third quarter, as they started to air the ball out more with Wehbey under center and Shaver still on the sidelines. The Spartans took a 28-21 lead on a Holmes 5-yard sweep, followed by a converted 2-point conversion on a Cooper Bonham sweep.
Enterprise had a scoring opportunity inside the Spartans 10-yard line late in the fourth quarter. But Sheffer missed two throws to DeMarreya Lewis-Cooper that ultimately turned the ball over on downs to Red Bluff. From there, Red Bluff let their workhorse running back Robinson take over.
Shaver re-entered the game with his ankle taped and picked up key gains on the ground to keep the clock moving. The Spartans would eventually have to punt the ball back with under 4 minutes to go, but Spartans’ senior cornerback Trevor Coates picked off Sheffer to ultimately seal the deal.
The Spartans picked up two more first downs on the ground to get them to victory formation.
Enterprise running back Eli Cortinas finished with 74 yards rushing on 11 carries, and one touchdown on a 32-yard screen play. Lewis-Cooper was the favorite target for the Hornets all night, finishing with 6 catches and 45 yards.
Shaver rushed for 62 yards on 13 carries and two rushing touchdowns.
Enterprise hosts Shasta for River Bowl XXIX Friday night. The Wolves won the earlier meeting 57-7.