Warriors fall in home finale

Published 4:50 pm Saturday, October 10, 2009

MERRY HILL – Oh, how games can turn on just a couple of plays.

Two plays in particular stand out as Rocky Mount Academy fought off a tough comeback from Lawrence Academy and spoiled Senior Night for the Warriors, 36-13.

Trailing 14-13 with just over two minutes to play in the second quarter and on their own 42 yard line RMA was stopped for a short gain by Daniel Rose and Lance Harrell. The Eagles then had a pair of incompletions before going for it on fourth down. The Eagles then pitched to freshman running back Adam Bayless and he was stopped just short on the 33.

But there was laundry on the field and the Warriors were flagged for a face mask call giving RMA a first down on the 18. Despite a later penalty that pushed the visitors back to their own 33, Rocky Mount quarterback Frederick Frohbose hit receiver Ben Callaway on a 31-yard pass play down to the two-yard line. Another Lawrence penalty and the Eagles scored to make it 20-13.

As if that weren’t enough of a back breaker, on the ensuing possession Lawrence drove to the Rocky Mount 38 but were stopped on fourth down and with 35 seconds left to halftime . Rocky Mount coach Andy Jackson called time out and with the crowd thinking the Eagles would just take a knee to run out the clock, Jackson called Bayless’ number again and the lanky ninth-grader rumbled 38 yards to the end zone for another score and it was suddenly 28-13.

Two plays and two scores, and both in less than two minutes.

“Those plays kind of sucked the life out of us,” said Lawrence coach Mike Dail. “Give us credit though, we didn’t quit but we just couldn’t rebound from something like that.”

The game opened with Lawrence stopping Rocky Mount on fourth-and-goal as Harrell and Spencer Walston brought down Jackson Russell on the three yard line. But after the Lawrence opening drive was stopped, the Eagles got the first of four first-half touchdown runs from Bayless for an 8-0 lead following a two-point conversion.

On Lawrence’s second possession, the Warriors drove 61 yards in eight plays, capped by a Blake Hill plunge from six yards out and they kicked their point after touchdown to trail, 8-7.

The Warriors were churning up real estate on their next possession in the second quarter before a fumble gave the ball to the Eagles near mid-field. It then took just two runs from Bayless to find the end zone; the second jaunt for 54 yards and a 14-7 lead after the PAT was missed.

Brandon Stifflemire took the ensuing kickoff 29 yards to the Lawrence 47 and after gaining 25 yards on a couple of runs to the Rocky Mount 28 yard line, Warrior quarterback Cade Larabee hit Luke Leary on a play-action sideline pass and he scampered to the end zone setting up the Warriors with a chance to tie.

However, the snap for the point-after was misplayed and it remained, 14-13 going into the dramatic final two minutes of the half.

Early in the third quarter still leading, 28-13, Rocky Mount got a safety to make it 30-13. After the free kick, Rocky Mount drove 70 yards and finished off the night’s final scoring when Frohbose hit Brice Wordsworth for a 41-yard strike as he outraced the Lawrence defenders to the end-zone.

Shane Leggett closed out his home football career with 85 yards rushing and over the century mark in all-purpose yards. Larabee had 49 yards passing and a touchdown while Hill had Lawrence’s other score.

“We played a pretty good second half”, said Dail, “and it was good for our seniors to play one more time in front of our home fans.”

Lawrence (1-7) closes out its season on the road at Cary Christian next week and in Fayetteville the following Friday against Trinity .

“Those are two pretty tough places to play,” said Dail with a grin, “but we’re going to go there and give it an effort like we’ve done all year.”