St. David’s stops Lawrence

Published 11:45 am Saturday, September 5, 2009

MERRY HILL – Oh, if it could have lasted just one more game.

With their fans still giddy over Lawrence Academy’s stunning opening week win the Warriors went into Friday night’s game with St. David’s School of Raleigh having momentum on their side.

But, alas, it didn’t last.

St. David’s scored five times in the first quarter and cruised to a 49-7 win, dropping Lawrence to 1-1 on the young season.

“Speed kills,” sighed Lawrence coach Mike Dail, shaking his head outside his locker-room after the game. “They were as good an eight-man team as I’ve seen in the last two years and they just closed on us all over the field, offensively and defensively.”

Blake Hill sparked the home team Warriors with a 59-yard scamper for Lawrence’s lone touchdown. Overall, the Warriors finished the night with 177 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Cade Larabee had a tough night going just 2-of-16 for 12 yards.

The visiting Warriors of St. David’s gained a whopping 248 yards on the ground. Raine McMillan finished with 77 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Quarterback Forrest Brandt also had a pair of touchdown runs and threw for two extra point conversions and kicked two more.

St. David’s scored on their first possession, going 82 yards in five plays capped by Brandt’s 47-yard run for a touchdown thru the Lawrence defense and a 7-0 lead. St. David’s came back on their next possession as McMillan scrambled 15 yards to the end zone, but the kick missed and it was 13-0.

Lawrence temporarily stopped the bleeding on St. David’s third possession as Anthony Thomas fumbled on a punt return and Lawrence’s Chris Douget got the ball back for the home-team Warriors.

But Lawrence’s drive stalled and Brandt, from his linebacker spot on defense, blocked the punt and scooped up the ball at the 26 yard line taking it in for the score and a 21-0 St. David’s lead.

On Lawrence’s next drive, Larabee’s pass to Shane Leggett was batted in the air by Matthew Comer at the 25-yardline right into the arms of Connor Fagan who rambled to the end zone for the visiting Warriors’ fourth score of the night. McMillan capped off the quarter with a 30-yard run for another score and Lawrence found itself down 34-0 after just 12 minutes of play.

The second quarter was much more balanced as Lawrence continued a drive begun in the closing minutes of the first that was capped by Hill’s scoring run. Larabee made a naked bootleg fake that completely fooled the St. David’s defense and Hill did the rest, finding the end zone 51 yards later to get the home team on the board and the crowd on its feet.

St. David’s made it a short celebration with a score on their very next possession as Alex Carro, subbing for Brandt at quarterback, fooled the Lawrence defense and went up the middle 50 yards to the end zone and a 41-7 lead. The visiting Warriors got one more score in the quarter and went into the half ahead, 49-7.

And that’s how it ended as Lawrence’s defense played with more fire in the second half and held the visiting Warriors scoreless. However, the home-team Warriors could never capitalize, despite a great last drive that almost set up last week’s hero, kicker Patrick Dilday, with a field goal, but it sailed wide right in the cool Merry Hill night.

“We’ve got a lot of experience on the field,” said St. David’s coach, Wes Wilder, “our first group was very speedy and very strong.

“We knew they didn’t have the speed to match up with us,” he added, “and our line did a tremendous job. With seniors all the way across the board, it makes a difference.”

“Our guys stepped up,” said Dail. “Unfortunately, we just couldn’t shake Leggett and Hill loose enough and you add the mistakes like plays called back and you just can’t do that against a good football team.”

Lawrence is back in Conference Carolina East 8-Man action next week on the road at Hobgood. Their next home game will be in two weeks when they host Northeast on September 18.