Stubbs, Larkin run past Bartlett
Larkin wanted the ball in the hands of one of its best weapons more often. The solution was to put him in the backfield ... and it worked.
While lining up at tailback for much of the night, Jamarion Stubbs scored 2 touchdowns to lead Larkin past Bartlett, 28-21, at Memorial Field. Chevelle Clements also ran for a score and Dontrell Maxie passed to Tim Scott for another score in the Upstate Eight matchup.
The Royals (3-3, 3-3) scored on the opening possession, then recovered an onside kick. They didn't immediately score but forced a Bartlett punt and this time Stubbs finished off the drive with his first TD.
Bartlett battled back but could never overcome the slow start and some trouble in the red zone. The Hawks drove inside the Larkin 10-yard line twice in the second quarter but had only a Krish Agrawal field goal to show for it.
After the field goal, the Hawks recovered an onside kick of their own and finally found the end zone with Jacob Scearce hitting James Knight for the touchdown.
Stubbs carried the ball 16 times for 59 yards and had 1 reception for 14 more. He even attempted a pass out of the backfield and would have had a long completion, but the ball was dropped.
"These past couple of games it has been hard to get me the ball so [coach Grant Dietz] got me in the backfield to get me some more and help the team," said Stubbs. "We knew this was a must-win game when we're trying to get to the playoffs."
The Royals racked up more than 200 yards on the ground, with Clements, Maxie and DeArrius Clardy each running for more than 25 yards.
"The fast start was a good thing for us," Dietz said. "But we did hit a point in that where we had offensive penalties that set us back and we just couldn't seem to get that momentum back on our side. But the defense came through. I knew once they started kicking field goals that we had a chance by moving the ball and scoring touchdowns."
Knight and Agrawal paced the offense for Bartlett (4-2 4-2), mirroring their first-half performances after intermission. Agrawal kicked another field goal to keep the Hawks close, and Knight scored his second touchdown to make it 28-21 with 3:36 left.
But the Royals were able to milk the clock, with Clardy and Maxie picking up key first downs on the Royals' final drive, keeping the ball out of Bartlett's hands.
Scearce completed 14 of 25 for 171 yards with the 1 touchdown and no interceptions.
"We came out slow on defense," said Bartlett coach Matt Erlenbaugh. "They hit us in the mouth, then they got the ball right back with the popup onside kick. It took us awhile to get going but there's just a lot of things that we've got to look at tomorrow and correct and move forward from it."