Roberson coach Jim Beatty was keeping a mental checklist in the first half Friday night.
His football team couldn’t get out of its own way on offense at Weatherby Stadium.
Carelessness with the ball, including bobbled snaps and at least four fumbles, resulted in a blocked punt and unsuccessful extra-point attempt.
But the Rams and Reggie Pinner did more than enough things right in the second half to leave Haywood County with a 27-18 road win over Tuscola.
In just his second career start, Pinner threw for 165 yards and four touchdowns to Marcus Jenkins (17 and 8 yards), Alex Talley (4) and Ben Warren (3).
Talley led all receivers with 94 yards and Warren’s last catch iced the game with 55.8 seconds to go.
“Like last week (a 22-20 home win over North Henderson), I thought the defense played a great ballgame,” Beatty said.
“We really challenged the kids at halftime to come out and fix mistakes. It was a gut check and they responded. My hat is off to Tuscola and (coach Brandon Allen). He’s done a great job here. They played extremely hard, we’re just fortunate to come out with a win.”
Mountaineers junior Bryce Myers carried the ball 16 times for 164 yards and two touchdowns. His 72-yard touchdown run with 10:41 to go in the third quarter gave Tuscola a short-lived 12-6 lead.
Roberson answered, with both of Pinner’s touchdown throws to Jenkins coming in the third quarter, and never trailed again.
“Roberson just made more plays than we did tonight and you have to give credit to their kids for their execution,” Allen said.
“I give glory to God, win or lose, and believe in my kids. I know they’re going to learn from this, come in Monday and try and get better.”
The Rams (2-0) and Mountaineers (1-1) went to halftime tied 6-6.
Pinner found Talley for a short touchdown pass with 3:31 to go until halftime. Zach Dollinger gave Roberson a short field on the possession by returning a kickoff to the Tuscola 41-yard line.
The Mountaineers’ early points came from two field goals (22 and 28 yards) off the foot of Logan Lambert. The shorter of the two kicks came at the 2:11 mark of the first quarter.
Jon Martinez set up the second score. One of the Mountaineers’ top linebackers blocked a Roberson punt that was recovered on the Rams’ 14-yard line by Chris Goforth.
The Rams have now won 13 of their last 14 regular-season games.
Friday was the first game between Roberson and Tuscola since 2008.
The Rams return home next Friday to host Western North Carolina Athletic Conference preseason favorite Franklin, while the Mountaineers will play host to East Rutherford.