PUEBLO — Ray Robinson only totaled eight carries on Friday night. But his last two of the game will make him a folk hero at Pueblo Centennial High School.
Robinson carried the ball twice in overtime, totaling the 10 yards that the Bulldogs needed to retain the victory bell.
Pueblo Centennial left Earl "Dutch" Clark Stadium with a 14-8 win and, more importantly, bragging rights for another year.
The bell still rings red.
"That game winning touchdown... it was a pain," Robinson said. "It was hard and we pushed all the way through 100 percent. I'm happy. The team's happy."
Everyone wearing red at Dutch Clark should be happy. The Bulldogs (1-2 overall) scored on the first play of the game in last year's meeting between the District 60 rivals. Things wouldn't be so easy this time around.
It was a grind that took three turnovers from the Wildcats (0-3) before the Bubba Rivera was able to punch the ball into the end zone. The ensuing extra point try was no good, but Centennial was gifted two points three plays later as the fourth down snap for Central went over Vincent Vasquez's head to go for a safety.
This was a far different path to take a touchdown for the lead than what Centennial faced last year, much to the chagrin of quarterback Pat Gonzales.
"I liked last year how we just went out and dominated," Gonzales said. "This year, I like how we all stuck together like a family."
The Wildcats looked to have made some productive adjustments at halftime as Nico Martin broke for a 18-yard run to grab some momentum. But penalties killed the Central drive and they couldn't manage to put points on the board.
It was on just their second drive of the second half that they were finally able to chew up yards. Quarterback Marcus Duran connected with Martin for a 33-yard completion. The Wildcats faced a fourth down, but called a fake punt to keep the drive going.
Duran then broke for a 25-yard run that saw 15 yards added at the end off a personal foul. He would eventually hit pay dirt, getting the ball into the end zone to pull within two points. Martin converted on the two-point try, and suddenly the Central side of Dutch Clark had new life.
"Offense, defense and special teams, I'm proud of my guys," Central coach Kris Cotterman said. "I love my team."
With under six minutes remaining, Centennial was able to drive down the field, with Gonzales finding ways to break through the line and get first downs, and eventually get to the seven-yard line.
A 24-yard field attempt from Angel Agustin sailed wide-right and the game went to overtime.
"This is what we were built for," Centennial coach Jeff Wilkerson said. "We did at camp, CSU-Pueblo does something very similar to that. You have to get 10 yards in four plays. We did very well at camp with that."
But they only needed two.
The second that Robinson got the ball across the goal line, his teammates and the Centennial fans erupted.
"(Being on the bottom of the dog pile) is not nice," Robinson said. "I had to tell them to get off me. I almost died."
But they piled on because he helped save the day.
Years from now, the story will be told that when he broke into the end zone, the Bell continued to ring red.