Quarterback Mark Gilbertson bootlegged around right end and raced seven yards to score the game's only touchdown with 3:25 left in the third quarter as host Robinson beat Gar-Field, 12-0, in a Virginia AAA non-league opener before a crowd of 3,000 last night.
Gilbertson did not start the game due to a twisted left knee, but took over for Chuck Ehlert after three first period turnovers nearly ruined Coach Nick Hilgert's debut. He replaced Ed Henry, now an assistant at the University of Virginia.
From his first series of downs in the second quarter, Gilbertson calmed his rattled teammates. He threw an apparent 28-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Coss, but an offensive interference penalty against tight end Joel Dempsey negated the score. Dempsey's 52-yard field goal attempt fell a few inches short as the half ended.
But less than three minutes into the third quarter, the all-Met kicker responded with a 47-yard field goal that was set up by a 29-yard run by Gilbertson and another first down run by Ron Lewis.
"I sure felt relieved after that kick," said Dempsey, who also caught four passes for 69 yards. "I just didn't want to be the goat."
On their next possession, the Rams took over after a 15-yard punt return by Andy Davis. Gilbertson then fashioned the only sustained drive of the game, an 11-play, 52-yard effort that ended with his touchdown run.