Reyn Robinson entered his team's second preseason scrimmage confident Beaufort Academy would roll.
The junior running back had not yet learned first-year coach Brock Vaigneur's blocking schemes. Robinson's free-wheeling style of finding his own opening crumbled during the scrimmage.
"After that, I knew I couldn't do it on my own," he said. "I had to learn to trust my blockers."
Robinson's development and Vaigneur's schemes have helped Beaufort Academy to a 5-3 record in SCISAA eight-man football, with a big region game at home against undefeated James Island Christian on Friday.
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The Eagles' offense, which relies heavily on trap plays, has allowed Robinson to crush the numbers from his sophomore season. He surpassed 2,000 yards rushing during a loss to Andrew Jackson last Friday. He has rushed for 23 touchdowns after finishing with nine scores as a sophomore.
The trap has freed Robinson in a league where most teams run the spread to compensate for lack of size.
Early in the season, Robinson would try to run outside and tangle with the pulling lineman responsible for the trap block, Vaigneur said. He learned to run inside the kicked-out defender and began piling up big gains.
"Reyn hits the hole harder than anyone I've ever seen," Vaigneur said. "He's pretty good in open field, as well, but his strength is hitting that hole with power."
Opponents have started taking notice, just in time for the biggest game of the season. Vaigneur plans to spread the field if James Island loads up to stop Robinson up the middle.
Robinson's ability as a passer and receiver can open the playbook for Vaigneur.
"Sometimes you can kind of run him too much, thinking he's going to break -- because he can break one anytime," Vaigneur said. "And you forget that you've got other things you can do.
"That's been one of my problems. I haven't had a running back like Reyn in a few years."
Vaigneur has searched for a complement to his top running back.
Freshman Christopher Boggs showed promise during the loss to Andrew Jackson, carrying three times for 85 yards and a score. Junior Charles Thompson has put together bigger games the past three weeks.
Where Robinson has been held back is defense, where he played some to start the year. Carrying the ball sometimes more than 30 times a game and breaking long runs took its toll. And Vaigneur wants to avoid the type of injuries that can end a team's chances in eight-man football.
The Eagles feel they have locked up a playoff spot after winning more games than the past two seasons combined. Robinson, who came back to Beaufort Academy in 10th grade after playing "B" team football at Beaufort High School as a freshman, says the Eagles' current group has been marked for a while to end the program's frustration.
"We got to that .500 mark, which was huge for BA," Robinson said. "And now I think seeing how good of a team we have and what competition we're facing, I think our goal is to make it to the playoffs this year and next year just bring it all home and win state."
Robinson by the numbers
2,191 -- Rushing yards through eight games
273.9 -- Rushing yards per game
23 -- Rushing touchdowns, plus three receiving