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Halifax spoils Lawrence homecoming

MERRY HILL – Eighteen plays, 72 yards taking a shade over eight minutes off the clock, Lawrence Academy started the second half with a bang here last night (Friday).

Unfortunately for the Warriors, Keith Thompson’s five-yard touchdown run to end that long march was Lawrence’s lone score of the night.

Halifax Academy scored early and often en route to spoiling Lawrence’s homecoming festivities as the visiting Vikings rolled to a 52-6 win.

The guests were so dominate that they scored on eight of their 10 possessions. In doing so, Halifax (6-2; 3-0) kept abreast of Northeast Academy at the top of the NCISAA’s 8-Man Eastern Division standings. Lawrence fell to 2-6; 0-3.

Trailing 31-0 at halftime, the Warriors did manage to prevent the shutout with their time-consuming march to open the third quarter.

Hard-nosed running by Thompson and Shane Stevens into the teeth of the Halifax defense highlighted the early part of Lawrence’s scoring drive. But the key to keeping the drive alive came on a three-yard run by quarterback Blake Hill on a 4th-and-1 play at midfield. Three plays and one Halifax penalty later, Hill and Shane Leggett hooked-up on a 13-yard pass, moving the pigskin to the Halifax 20 yardline.

From that point, another Halifax infraction pushed the Warriors to the 10 from where a bizarre chain of events occurred. Despite a personal foul flag against Halifax that should have given Lawrence an automatic first down, that new set of downs was not awarded and after an incomplete pass on 4th down, Halifax took over at their own nine.

However, the referee caught the mistake and returned the ball to the Warriors. That raised the ire of the Halifax coaching staff and they were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for their reaction to the call. With the ball moved to the four yardline after that foul, Thompson scored two plays later.

Lawrence’s only other scoring threat of the night came early in the game after Scooter Cowand recovered a Halifax fumble at the Vikings 42 yardline. From there, a 19-yard pass from Hill to Leggett got the Warriors as deep as the eight yardline, but the drive stalled and Lawrence lost possession on downs.

Halifax was finally able to get its offense untracked and unleashed Ryan Rawlins in the process. For the night, he ran for 211 yards and three TD’s (scoring runs of 41, 80, 42 yards) and caught a 27-yard paydirt strike from Phillip Meyers.

The Vikings also scored on a 60-yard punt return by Meyers in the second quarter; Jesse Alston’s 23-yard run (third quarter); Zachary Liles’ two-yard run (fourth quarter) and Lewis Conger’s 36-yard field goal and seven PAT’s.

Halifax finished the game with 460 total yards.

Lawrence accounted for 140 total yards, led by Thompson with 80 yards on 24 carries.

The Warriors visit Northeast Academy next Friday (Oct. 17).