Hixson senior Isaiah Robinson accomplished one of his preseason goals Friday, and that will help the Wildcats accomplish another preseason goal.
Robinson topped 1,000 rushing yards for the season in the first half of Hixson's 19-14 win over East Ridge that keeps the Wildcats undefeated in District 6-AA.
"Phew, I'm glad I got it," Robinson said. "I'm a senior and that's something I wanted to do."
Robinson finished the evening with 22 carries for 118 yards and a first-half touchdown. Kendrick Bradley carried 22 times for 131 yards for Hixson (5-2, 3-0).
"When you stay undefeated in the district, that helps your chances at the playoffs," Hixson coach Jason Fitzgerald said. "We get a week off and then we'll get ready for Red Bank here."
East Ridge quarterback JoJo Tillery continues to be the Pioneers' primary offensive weapon. He rushed 15 times for 83 yards and one touchdown. He passed for 87 yards as the Pioneers were held to a total of 204 yards, including 64 in the second half.
"Defense came up huge tonight, including two fourth-down stops," Fitzgerald said. "We adjusted one formation and lined up right 99 percent of the time."
But not in the first half.
Tillery ripped off a 52-yard scamper up the middle that set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Tyler Walden late in the first quarter.
Fitzgerald flipped to the trick-play section of his playbook after East Ridge called for time. The coach called for the play "Arkansas" in which quarterback Gil Brown snaps the ball to Robinson, who is near the numbers and behind his blockers. It worked for a 19-yard touchdown.
"I got it from Gus Malzahn and the guys are always asking, 'When are we going to run Arkansas?'" Fitzgerald aid. "It has to be just the right time."
The Pioneers (3-4, 2-1) responded with a nine-play drive that Tillery capped with a 17-yard run around the left end and into the end zone.
Hixson, which rushed 24 times for 117 yards in the first half, scored on a 31-yard play-action pass from Brown to a wide-open James Cole speeding down the seam.
An extra point would have tied the game, but East Ridge junior Seth Vaughn -- who later forced a fumble -- blocked the kick. The Pioneers led 14-13 before halftime homecoming ceremonies.
Brown added a 1-yard sneak in the third quarter and Hixson stopped the Pioneers two times on fourth down in the fourth quarter.
"We moved it on them better than I thought we would," East Ridge coach Tracy Malone said. "But it was tough because we're not the biggest guys in the world. We now have to put it behind us."
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...