Senior running back Demarcus Robinson made sure he and his Northwest teammates have two things to play for next week.
Robinson, who needed 488 yards in his final two regular season games to break the City League rushing record, put a big dent into that number, rushing for 278 in the Grizzlies' 60-35 romp over North in a Class 6A-District 6 game Thursday night at Carpenter Stadium.
Northwest improved to 2-0 in district play, clinching a playoff berth, and can win the district title next week by beating South. Robinson needs 210 yards to surpass Bryce Brown's record of 1,873, set last season with East.
Robinson would much rather have the district title — and more — than a history-making individual performance.
"I just want to win the state championship," Robinson said. "(Coach Weston Schartz) keeps talking to me about it — 'D-Mac, I know it doesn't matter to you, but your linemen want it.' (The record) doesn't matter. I see his point, but I'm trying to win a state championship right now."
It appeared early that Robinson could take care of all 488 yards in one night. He rushed for 160 yards in the first quarter, giving way to teammates for touchdowns as Northwest built a 26-0 lead.
Robinson did much of the work getting Northwest down the field, but his first touchdown was Northwest's sixth. Brock Heithaus rushed for two and caught one and Andrew Etheridge had touchdowns via a fumble recovery and a rush to help the Grizzlies go ahead 47-6 late in the first half.
"We tried to get after them early and leave no doubt," Northwest coach Weston Schartz. "Work on some things. We have some things to clean up."
Robinson had 214 rushing yards by halftime and left after the third quarter, when he tweaked his right ankle. Robinson said the ankle should be fine with ice treatment and he expects to play next week.
North, though buried early, got nice performances from the backfield tandem of Grail Brewster and Briston White. Brewster rushed for 130 yards and two touchdowns and passed for two more scores, and White had 106 rushing yards on six carries and also caught a touchdown.
They didn't match the electricity of Robinson, though. And in giving Robinson 27 carries in a blowout victory, Schartz made it clear that he wants the record for his star.
"He doesn't care about it," Schartz said. "I want it for the (offensive) line, and probably for him. That was his last carry, when he tweaked his ankle. He'll be all right, he's done it before."
Northwest (6-2, 2-0) 26 21 13 0 — 60 North (1-7, 0-2) 6 8 0 21 — 35
NW—Heithaus 10 run (Collier kick) NW—Heithaus 3 run (Collier kick) NW—Etheridge 35 fumble recovery (pass failed) NW—Thurman 10 run (kick failed) N—White 52 run (pass failed) NW_Heithaus 24 pass from Chadick (Collier kick) NW—Robinson 17 run (Collier kick) NW—Etheridge 18 run (Collier kick) N—White 23 pass from Brewster (Brewster run) NW—Chadick 1 run (Collier kick) NW—Etheridge 1 run (run failed) N—Brewster 1 run (kick failed) N—Brewster 26 run (Hollinger kick) N—Gray 55 pass from Brewster (Brewster run)
Rushing—Northwest, Robinson 27-278, Thurman 10-61, Terrell 9-46, Etheridge 3-35, Heithaus 3-23, Rhone 2-16, Parsons 2-5, Lee 1-5, Chadick 2-2, Wiedemann 3-(-5); North, Brewster 21-130, White 6-106, Rollins 2-4, Dukes 2-2.
Passing—Northwest, Chadick 2-4-47-0, Wiedemann 0-1-0-0; North, White 0-4-0-0, Brewster 3-3-78-0.
Receiving—Northwest, Heithaus 1-24, Rhone 1-23; North, Gray 1-55, White 1-23, Garner 1-0.