A running back who gains 280 yards on only 13 carries and scores four touchdowns in a game normally doesn't play second fiddle to another player.
But Milwaukee Bay View's Dominique Robinson doesn't mind playing second banana to linebacker DaVonti Bell, one of the state's most effective quarterback sackers and a Division I recruit.
Both got their seasons off to impressive starts with a 62-7 season-opening victory over Milwaukee Marshall.
Bell plays offensive and defensive tackle for Bay View, and is a two-year returning Milwaukee City All-Conference selection.
“We took him to Wisconsin and he spent time with their defensive line coaches,” coach Jeff Geil said. “He's 6-(foot)-4, 255 (pounds), and in a play on Friday, he chased down a 5-6 quarterback who rolled out in the pocket, and he caught him before he got to the sidelines. He's really quick.”
Iowa and North Dakota State have also shown interest in Bell due to his pass-rushing prowess.
“It's all about speed and technique,” Bell said of rushing the quarterback. “It comes natural and with a little bit of practice. I need to anticipate where the ball is going. We saw on film where the quarterback likes to roll out. We just had to watch where he was going.”
The sacks might keep coming, but Bell expects to see more double and triple teams.
“I'm very good in getting off my block and stopping the run,” he said. “I worked in the offseason in getting big and strong. I want to get off my blocks much faster.”
Robinson, a senior, played the counterback spot in the Bay View offense last season but has now emerged as the main ball carrier.
“We've been actually blessed by what could have been two all-state kids in a row,” Geil said. “This is my first year as head coach, but we're running basically the same offense. The three-back in our offense has averaged close to 1,500 yards the last three or four years. Dominique has moved to the three-back position, the one that gets the bulk of our carries. When he hits the line, he hits the ball running.
“He's only 5-7. But he is quick and has excellent cutback abilities. He reads the hole. Last year we called him our little Porsche because he's running the counter where he's going from the right tackle to left tackle, then he makes the cut up field to read the cut of the guard coming through. He reminded me of a Porsche on a street by the way they hug the road and they just flow. He's just so fluent.”
It didn't surprise Geil to see Robinson pick up nearly 300 yards his first game of the season, and he's figuring the best may be yet to come.
“We shut him down for the last quarter-and-a-half because we were up so much,” he said. “He's going to get many touches a game. He has quickness, and the way he reads the hole is just natural. I've sat back and watched the tape 15 times. It's like, 'Wow.' It's effortless, bam! and he's gone. Next thing you know, the whole team is chasing him.”
It's expected that defenses will focus heavily on Robinson every game.
“We'll scheme against guys as they adjust against our offense,” Geil said. “Last year, he was our counterback. We put him in different positions to get the ball and hopefully hurt people.”
Robinson is an outside starting linebacker and is on kickoff returns. In the season opener, he had five tackles and two sacks.
Robinson is also expected to draw some eyes if he gets any more rushing games close to 300 yards.
“I was confident with my speed that I could do the job,” Robinson said. “I was told I would get the ball more this year. I wasn't surprised at the yardage, not with the way the line was playing. Hopefully, I'll get more next week.”
Coveted tight end
Cudahy tight end Derric Junakin (6-3, 240) is being heavily recruited by some of the Midwest's top football programs, and his coach Steve Madden isn't surprised.
Regarded as one of Wisconsin's top three tight end prospects, Junakin is getting interest from schools such as Wisconsin, Iowa State, Purdue, Illinois, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Illinois State, North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Northern Iowa and Eastern Illinois.
“The Badgers have indicated they like him a lot,” Madden said. “They thought he was one of the best tight end (prospects) they've had.”
He also sees action at fullback, but has always been a tight end in his career.
Cudahy lost to South Milwaukee 22-21.
“He's been dominating on the line blocking,” Madden said of his third-year player. “He's a big, athletic kid who can run and catch well.”
Cudahy had 30 catches for more than 500 yards and six touchdowns in 2008.
“He's already a ton better,” Madden said. “He's better conditioned. I don't think his numbers will be that good compared to last season because we've gone from a spread team to power run. He's a key component to our run game in terms of blocking and sometimes carrying the ball as a fullback.
“For his size, he's one of the more athletic kids we have. We've had a tight end go to Purdue and an offensive lineman go to Western Michigan.”
Top football stars from week one:
• Dillon Bean of Westby, who had 357 rushing yards and three touchdowns in his team's 39-14 win over Richland Center.
• Drew McAdams from Madison East, who went 19-of-38 for 386 yards and four touchdowns; and his teammate Marquis Mason, who caught a 98-yard pass from McAdams in a 37-31 loss to Middleton.
• Kellen Miller of Racine Horlick had 474 yards passing and five touchdowns in a 56-40 loss to Hamilton.
• CoBretti Forsythe of New Lisbon, who had a 94-yard kickoff return in his team's 42-8 win over Kickapoo.
• Senior running back Bryan Bronaugh of defending Division I state champion Homestead, who had 130 yards on his first three carries in a 28-10 win over D.C. Everest.
• Austin Sikorski of Stevens Point, who had 227 yards and five touchdowns in a 35-14 win over Superior.