While his Pleasure Ridge Park Panthers were in no mood to lose again Friday night, Montae Robinson was in no mood to start a rift in his family.
Montae Robinson shined on both sides of the ball, but younger first cousin B.J. Robinson, a junior quarterback, passed for four touchdowns to lead the Panthers to a 42-6 win over the Butler Bears in a critical Class 6-A, District 3 teams.
“Let’s just say we all played great as a whole,” said Montae Robinson, who jumpstarted the Panthers’ offensive explosion with a 29-yard touchdown pass from his cousin less than 6 minutes into the game.
Not only did the win keep the Panthers (5-3, 1-2 district) out of the district cellar, but it also allowed them to end their three-game losing streak. Granted those defeats came against powers Trinity, St. Xavier and Male.
“It feels great, because the teams we lost to are actually among the best in the state,” said Montae Robinson, who also had one of his team’s four interceptions. “We just put our name back on the map.”
So did B.J. Robinson.
The taller of the duo, who admitted he often gets mistaken for Montae’s brother, B.J. Robinson was 8-of-15 passing for 232 yards and four touchdowns without being intercepted.
In addition to finding Montae for a score, B.J. Robinson hit versatile Shannon Bishop for a 63-yard strike, tight end Garrett Lawrence for a 41-yard touchdown and Michael Hopper for a 21-yard score on just his second — and final — passing attempt after halftime.
“We just came off three hard losses and we came out and just had to get a W from the start,” said B.J. Robinson. “We had to get back on track and back on a streak.”
Bishop’s zig-zagging 40-yard punt return touchdown and Evan Kowadla’s extra point with 8:07 left in the third quarter put the Panthers up 34-0 — four more points than PRP had scored in its previous three games combined.
Even when things didn’t go their way — the Panthers missed a field goal, had a touchdown called back, muffed a punt deep in their own territory, had a first down negated on a penalty and had an interception erased on a roughing-the-passer call all in the first half — the Panthers were in firm control.
Eleven of the game’s first 12 combined snaps were ran on the Bears’ side of the field and at halftime, PRP went more yards (50) backward in penalties than Butler (3-5, 0-3) had in offensive yards (31 plays but just 21 yards).
Butler’s Eric Jackson, who had a game-high 76 yards on 20 carries, broke up the shutout with a 16-yard run with 4:41 left in the game.
“It’s been a tough three weeks, but for the most part, we stayed the course and we kept working hard,” said PRP coach Jason Hiser, who picked up his 51st career victory with the Panthers after being stuck on the 50-win plateau since Sept. 9. “There was some frustration there, but we kept at it and we came out tonight and things went our way and good things happened. I’m just proud of these guys for the way they came out tonight.”