Warriors advance

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 2004

MERRY HILL – Senior Chad Simmons scored two touchdowns and had two interceptions as Lawrence Academy topped St. David’s, 28-1,0 in the first round of the 1A NC Independent Schools Athletic Association football playoffs here last night (Friday).

All of the first half scoring came on successive possessions – two by Lawrence and one by the Raleigh visitors.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Warriors drew first blood, driving 51 yards in 12 plays capped by Jobie Thomas’ four-yard TD run on a misdirection play. Daniel Waters was stopped just short of the goal on the conversion run, leaving Lawrence with a 6-0 lead at the 10:54 mark of the 2nd quarter.

Two key plays highlighted the drive – both by Simmons who first ran for six yards on a 4th-and-4 play from the St. David’s 44 yardline followed, six snaps later, by his bruising 13-yard, tackle-breaking run on a 3rd-and-8 play.

Sparked by a trio of J.J. Calhoun passes totaling 52 yards and a pair of runs by the shifty senior quarterback that combined for 39 yards, St. David’s answered on the game’s next possession. Overcoming a pair of holding penalties, the visitors drove 66 yards in 15 plays and took a 7-6 lead with 5:36 left before halftime on Calhoun’s one-yard sneak and Bo Brandt’s PAT kick. Calhoun led St. David’s with 183 total yards, 145 of which came through the air.

That lead was shortlived as Lawrence took the ensuing kick-off and set sail on a 52-yard, 11-play march capped by Simmons’ two-yard TD blast and Dusty Todd’s two-point conversion run with 53 seconds left on the first half clock that staked the Warriors to a 14-7 advantage at the break.

Simmons was the workhorse on that drive, toting the pigskin six times for 34 of his game-high 187 rushing yards.

Simmons continued to make his presence known in the third, picking off Calhoun’s pass at the 1-yardline.

Two plays later, the Warriors fumbled, and St. David’s recovered the ball on the Lawrence 4-yardline, settling for a field goal to close within four, 14-10, to end the quarter.

The Warriors pulled away in the fourth as Holden McClenney took the handoff from Simmons 29 yards for the score with 10:52 left in the game.

Simmons’ conversion run was good, putting the Warriors up, 22-10.

Simmons continued to haunt St. David’s Calhoun, intercepting his pass on the next series, and then breaking up the middle four plays later for a 47-yard scoring run. The PAT failed, but it was enough as Lawrence took the win, 28-10.

The Warriors will host Trinity Christian School next Friday in a state semifinal matchup. Trinity topped Hobgood, 36-12, last night.