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Parrott ends LA bid

MERRY HILL – They’re still a work in progress.

But progress is the right word.

Lawrence Academy tried to make it two in a row Friday night at home against Arendell-Parrott Academy of Kinston, but fell to the Patriots, 48-12, in a game much closer than the score indicates.

Cade Larabee ran for one Lawrence touchdown and Jesse White passed for the other score to Scott Dunlow, who also rushed for 78 yards on 18 carries.

“I thought we played a great first half,” said first-year Lawrence football coach Robert Kravitz.  “The second half there was a little confusion and you can probably blame the coaching staff for that so we can really only go forward.

“We’re obviously not where we need to be yet,” he added, “but in a couple of weeks I think we’ll be there.”

After a scoreless first quarter in which both teams chose to grind it out with their ground game, Parrott got on the board first with a score late in the second quarter. In fact,  both Parrott scores came on the Patriots’ only pass plays of the half, but they were huge.

With just under two and a half minutes to go until halftime, Lawrence drove to the Patriot 17-yardline but failed to pick up a first down and the ball went over on downs.

Three plays later, Parrott’s junior quarterback Matt Hinson hit Andrew Davenport on a sideline pattern and the sophomore outran the Lawrence defenders into the endzone for the game’s first score.  After a Sergio Grossi kick, the Patriots led it, 7-0.

Lawrence began their next possession deep in their own territory, but the drive stalled on fourth down at midfield with 19 seconds left in the half when Larabee with down with a sack.

Parrott ran just two plays in the final seconds: a seven yard run followed by Hinson hitting Todd Bailey on a deep fly pattern for a 43-yard strike just as the clock expired.  The two teams entered the locker room with the Pats in front, 14-0.

Lawrence came back to score on their first drive of the second half.  After three quick runs by Dunlow, Larabee called his own number on a quarterback keeper and found the seam in the defensive line.

Sidestepping a defender, he then outraced the remaining Patriots 67 yards to the endzone for the score; however Lawrence’s attempt at the two point conversion failed and the Warriors trailed by eight, 14-6.

Kravitz then made a bold move in going for an onside kick which Lawrence recovered, but the Warriors were flagged when the ball failed to go the required 10 yards.

After a four-and-out by the Patriots, Lawrence got ball on their own 16-yardline and drove to the 33 before fumbling and Parrott recovered.

After picking up a first down, Hinson passed to Todd Bailey who took it to the three-yardline.  Parrott’s first three attempts to punch it in failed as the Lawrence defense rose to the occasion; but faced with fourth and goal at the three, Davenport slipped through a hole in the middle for a score and a 21-6 lead.

Parrott scored once more in the third quarter to lead it, 28-6; and then on their first two possessions of the fourth quarter to lead it, 41-6.

Once again, with under two and a half minutes to go in the final quarter, Lawrence capped a 62-yard drive with White’s scoring strike to Dunlow, but Parrott closed out the scoring by taking the ensuing kickoff into the endzone to make for the final score.

“Their (Lawrence’s) score early in the second half followed by an onside kick kind of woke us up,” said Parrott coach Bart Bright, “and from then on it was on and I think that made us want to play ball.

“Lawrence hit us pretty hard,” he added, “and they sure played better than they did when we scrimmaged them last month.”

“We’re a little behind,” said Kravitz, “but our guys are learning every day and I’m real proud that they’re working hard.”

He added with a wink, “Just remember, a work in progress.”

Lawrence hits the road next week with a 7:30 p.m. Friday night game at Halifax Academy.

(By Gene Motley, Sports Writer)