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Can Boyle County contain “crazy good” Wandale Robinson tonight?

Western Hills’ Wandale Robinson. (Linda Younkin/linda.younkin@state-journal.com)

By LARRY VAUGHT

There’s not a more dynamic high school football player in Kentucky than Western Hills standout Wandale Robinson. Yet he likely will be overmatched by the depth of Boyle County’s playmakers when the Class AAA district foes play tonight in Frankfort.

Robinson has rushed for 1,667 yards and 25 touchdowns, caught 17 passes for 367 yards and seven scores and has thrown a touchdown pass. He also has an interception return for a score — 97 yards against Lexington Catholic — and two kick returns for scores. He leads the state with 212 points. On defense he has 85 tackles, including nine tackles for loss.

But tonight Boyle will counter with a terrific one-two punch in junior running back Landen Bartleson and junior receive Reese Smith. They both have multiple Division I offers, including Kentucky — and both know and respect Robinson.

“We actually are pretty good friends,” said Smith, who returned to action last week after missing two games with a broken bone in his hand. “He has actually come to watch us play and we talk. He is a really good guy. I like being around him because he’s a cool dude.”

Robinson will make his college choice Nov. 1. His finalists are Alabama, Ohio State, Purdue, Nebraska, Michigan and Kentucky.

Bartleson has seen Robinson on campus visits and camps.

“Obviously you get a little bit more hyped for a game like this when you are playing somebody that is averaging a bunch of yards per game. That gets us going,” Bartleson said. “It’s always nice to try and hold somebody that good below his average. It’s a challenge, but we did it last year. We just have to step up to the table and do it again.”

Smith knows that sounds good but is not always easy to do. Robinson rushed for 288 yards and four touchdowns against Garrard County last week despite limited touches. A week earlier against Lexington Catholic he ran for 200 yards and four scores, returned an interception  for a score, caught four passes for 37 yards, completed four passes for 64 yards, made 14 tackles and forced three fumbles.

“He’s just crazy good. He is fast, shifty. He has great ball skills. Just a freak athlete,” Smith said about Robinson. “He has such a good feel for the game. He can run away from you with his speed and is hard to tackle. One person is not going to get him down. It takes four or five guys to bring him down. His legs are strong. So is his upper body.

“You can see with how he runs and plays that he is built strong and is a really good athlete. You better hang on if you get hold of him or he will get away from you and nobody is going to catch him.”

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