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Senior's hard-nosed, physical style of play is helping Bloomfield push through the playoffs

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BLOOMFIELD — Bloomfield senior JD Robinson has been playing organized football since fourth grade, and until the Bobcats torched Taos 41-7 last week, he had never won a playoff game.

And even as hard-nosed and no-nonsense as he is, he can’t help but crack a smile and get giddy when talking about Friday’s 4A state playoff win.

“This school hasn’t won a playoff game since 2008, I believe,” Robinson said. “I’ve played my whole life without winning one. I wanted it so badly.”

Football coaches at every level preach a team-first mentality, and some players latch onto that concept better than others. Robinson, a full back and linebacker, doesn’t need to be reminded of how critical teamwork is in football.

With three rushing touchdowns and an interception, Robinson had his fingerprints all over Bloomfield’s blowout win over Taos. But the fiery team captain said he was more thrilled about moving on in the state playoffs than he was about any of his individual accolades.

“It’s not a one-man show, it takes the running backs, it takes the quarterback, it takes the offensive line to make things work,” he said. “I’m not a ball hog. I’m not trying to get all of the glory or anything like that. Everything goes to my team. We’re a team. We're an army.”

In Bloomfield’s first play against Taos, Robinson found a hole on the right side of the offensive line and hit it hard for a 35-yard pickup. On the Bobcats’ next possession, he used his strength to bull through a linebacker trying to plug up a hole before sprinting 40 yards to the end zone for his first touchdown of the night.

Bloomfield coach Bob Allcorn heaped praise onto Robinson for the way he played against Taos.

"JD had an outstanding game all the way around,” Allcorn said. “He probably had his worst game of the year the first time against Taos. He tried to do some things defensively, that were outside the scheme, and it really bit him in the butt. He really stuck with the scheme (Friday), and he had a great game, made some great hits and hit the holes offensively.”

For not playing running back since his middle school days, Robinson has certainly had an impact in the position in his senior year. He leads the Bobcats in carries (133), rushing yards (853) and touchdowns (13).

Robinson doesn't take his role as head of Bloomfield’s running-back-by-committee for granted. After playing on the offensive line for much of his first two years in high school, he knows the kind of work that goes into creating those holes that he’s been bursting through all year.

“It’s a fight, it’s a grind down in those trenches. I know,” Robinson said. “If you don’t have an offensive line, you don’t have nothing. If you have a terrific offensive line, you can put my 7-year-old brother back there and he can make plays.”

Running the ball is only half of a fullback’s job description, and Robinson takes pride in the other half, which is blocking. The affinity Robinson has for hitting people makes blocking as much fun as scoring touchdowns, he said.

“Whenever I’m not getting the ball, I’m looking to punish somebody for Chauncey (White) or for Brendan (Ramsey) or for whoever’s carrying the ball,” he said. “I’m looking to punish that linebacker, I’m looking to punish that safety or corner.”

Growing up, Robinson’s favorite football player was former Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis. He said he models his play after the retired linebacker, but more than that, he tries to bring the kind of relentless passion and energy to the field that Lewis brought during his career.

“When I’m hitting that running back, I know it’s breaking him down mentally and physically, it’s killing him inside,” he said. “I'll help him up, but between those whistles, I'm trying to break him down.”

Robinson was a solid linebacker for Bloomfield last year, but he’s clearly a bigger, better defender now, according to Allcorn.

“JD’s gotten so much stronger. He takes great pride in his work ethic in the weight room,” Allcorn said. “We’re still training hard in the weight room, even during the season. That’s something I’ve always believed in, and that’s something he embraces 100 percent.”

Bloomfield (10-1) will visit Robertson (8-2) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in the state quarterfinals. Robinson said he’s taking preparation for that game one day at a time, from the film room to the weight room to the practice field. He said he’s excited for the early kickoff, as Bloomfield hasn’t played a day game yet this season.

“I’ve had people tell me that it changes the atmosphere when you’re playing at 1 or 1:30," he said. “It makes it kind of a big game atmosphere. You know that’s when the college teams and NFL teams play. I can’t wait for it, but I have to, so me and my teammates are just going to take it one day at a time until then.”

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577. 

A closer look: JD Robinson

1. Favorite team?

"The Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders."

2. Favorite athlete?

"Ray Lewis."

3. Favorite food?

"Steak."

4. Favorite movie?

"American Sniper."

5. Favorite subject in school?

"English."

6. Least favorite subject?

"Math."

7. Biggest fear?

"Not being the best I could be."

8. Do you play any other sports?

"Wrestling."

9. What is the first thing you would do with $1 million?

"I would save it."

10. Do you have any pregame rituals?

"After I get taped up and everything, I put on my headphones and listen to heavy metal. Loud."

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