In Saturday’s VHSL State Football Semifinal game, the Oakton Cougars knew that stopping a potent L.C. Bird run game led by senior Paul Robertson was priority one in order to win. One thing they didn’t know: Robertson was wearing his lucky knee-high pink socks. Robertson finished the day with a State playoff record and school record 426 yards on the ground and five touchdowns to defeat Oakton 41-17 and advanced to play Ocean Lakes in the State Championship next Saturday at 4 p.m. at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville.
“I think I started wearing them [pink socks] for the Manchester game,” said Robertson. “I haven’t worn them every game, but every time I have I’ve gone for over 250 yards.”
For you math gurus out there, 426 is greater than 250. As we learned in elementary school, the “alligator mouth” always wants to eat the bigger number. This performance shattered the school record Robertson set on Nov. 26 against Varina with 329 yards.
“This might have been my last game,” said Robertson. “We knew we had to win and play our hearts out.”
The Skyhawks made the victory decisive from the start, striking first on an 87-yard run by Robertson. Oakton countered with a field goal, but in the second quarter Robertson scored on a 25-yard run. Follow that up with a beautiful bomb from quarterback Terrance Ervin to wide receiver Darius Hawkins of 54 yards and another touchdown run of 79 yards by Robertson and Bird had a 27-3 lead.
The Cougar offense answered seemingly unfazed, led by Kyle Downer who finished with 107 passing yards and 86 rushing yards as he led a drive down the field that ended in one of his two touchdowns on the evening. With just 29 seconds remaining in the half, Oakton trailed 27-10.
With those 29 seconds remaining, the Skyhawks came out firing as Ervin hit Hawkins over the middle for a 49-yard pass, and Robertson scored his fourth touchdown of the half with just six seconds remaining to extend the lead to 34-10 at the half.
“We just knew we had to finish the game at that point,” said Robertson.
The Cougars came out in the second half and orchestrated a methodical touchdown drive to cut the lead to 34-17, but Robertson answered yet again with a 39-yard touchdown run to make it 41-17. Robertson left the game to a standing ovation in the fourth quarter after the long run that put him at 426 yards.
“Paul is an excellent runner,” said Martavious Robinson, a first-team All-Dominion District performer at tackle. “I love blocking for him; he’s fast and strong and always works hard.”
That offensive live has been a huge reason for the success that the Skyhawks have had. Bird’s line is among the biggest and the best in the state. Oakton had been playing solid defense coming in not having allowed more than 300 yards of total offense in any playoff game. The Cougars simply had no answer for Robertson.
“We came in with a good game plan,” said Bird’s head coach, David Bedwell. “We didn’t think that it would work quite as well as it did.”
Bird is now 13-0 and will face the Ocean Lakes Dolphins (Virginia Beach, Va.) who are currently 14-0 and defeated C.D. Hylton (Woodbridge, Va.) 21-14 in their state semi-final game. The match-up should be a good one as Ocean Lakes has a great defense and good speed on both sides of the ball. Like Bird, Ocean Lakes also scored several blowout victories in their district this year.
One thing is for sure: a new D6 state champion will be crowned next Saturday in Charlottesville. Should Bird win, it would be the second time in four years a team from Chester has won the D6 State Championship, with Thomas Dale winning in 2009.
For ticket information, call Bird Athletics at 804-768-6121. Follow us on twitter @VNewsSports for live updates from the game Saturday. If you tweet about the game, use #SkyhawksNation. Like us on Facebook for scoring updates from the game.