Wild one in Merry Hill

Published 11:38 pm Friday, September 28, 2012

MERRY HILL – Both coaches expected a high-scoring affair.

They may have got more than they bargained for.

Lawrence Academy scored 66 points in the first half en route to an 88-42 victory over Northeast Academy here Friday night.

The two teams combined for 22 points in the opening two minutes of the contest and that set the stage for what was to be an offensive showcase. In the end, Beau Drake’s Warriors held off the Eagles of Stevie Flythe and claimed their first win of the season.

The scoring began on the first play from scrimmage when Ryan Lilley went around the end and scored 48 yards later. The Lawrence Academy senior put the Warriors on the board with just 11 seconds off the first quarter clock. The run failed, but it was 6-0.

Northeast answered quickly. Adam Creech picked up a dozen yards on third-and-10 to give the Eagles a first down at the Lawrence 35-yard line. From there, quarterback Christian Fleetwood found Michel Cooper for a touchdown. Fleetwood then connected with Bo Daniel for the two-point conversion and Northeast led 8-6 with just 1:17 gone in the game.

Lawrence found the endzone again quickly on the next drive. Lilley picked up nine yards before quarterback Jesse White scampered 42 yards to paydirt with 10:07 to play in the first quarter. Lilley added the conversion and Lawrence led 14-8.

Northeast then put together a seven-play, 50-yard drive to tie the game. Fleetwood had a trio of key completions, including a six-yard scoring pass. The two-point conversion failed, but the game was tied at 14-all with 7:01 remaining in the first quarter.

Lilley then got the Lawrence faithful back on their feet, returning the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to  paydirt. White connected with Logan Mizel on the two-point conversion and Lawrence led 22-14.

Northeast’s offense sputtered for the first time on the next drive and the Eagles were forced to punt. Lilley again had a good return, going 22 yards to the Northeast 28-yard line.

On second down, White went 26 yards to the one-foot line. He scored on a one-yard plunge on the next play. Zach Eubanks then added the conversion and Lawrence led 30-14.

Northeast moved the ball on the next drive, but came up to fourth-and-six from the Lawrence 48-yard line. Flythe decided to roll the dice, but Mizel came up with a sack for the Warriors and Northeast turned the ball over on downs.

Lilley made them pay on the next play when he went 47 yards for a score. The conversion failed, but Lawrence led 36-14 with 2:31 still to play in the first quarter.

The Eagles went for it again on the next possession when facing a fourth-and-six, but again the Warriors stopped them.

Penalties and a good effort by the Northeast defense appeared to be putting an end to Lawrence’s scoring drive on the next possession as the Warriors came up on a fourth-and-20, but White scampered 27 yards to the six-yard line to pick up the first down.

On the next play, Eubanks went in from six yards out and, combined with Lilley’s conversion run, the Lawrence lead ballooned to 44-14.

After stopping Northeast again on the next drive, the Warriors were able to add to the lead.

After a 46-yard run by Lilley, White scored from one yard out. He completed the two-point conversion pass to Mizel and Lawrence led 52-14 with 6:50 still to play in the first half.

Northeast was far from done, however. The Eagles put together a drive of their own, the key play of which came when Fleetwood connected with Cooper on a 40-yard pass completion to the five-yard line. Fleetwood then called his own numbers and scored on the next play. Daniel added the conversion and Northeast had cut the lead to 52-22.

Lawrence again tried to put their visitors away, driving 52 yards on eight plays capped by a Trey Styons 14-yard score. White kept the ball on the conversion and scored, giving Lawrence a 60-22 edge with 2:04 remaining in the second quarter.

Anyone who thought the scoring in the first half was done was wrong.

Cooper returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards for a score. Adam Creech then added the conversion and the Eagles closed the gap to 60-30.

Lawrence, however, had enough time to find paydirt one more time, scoring on a 10-yard run by Lilley. The conversion failed and Lawrence led 66-30 at the intermission.

The scoring slowed slightly in the second half with the Warriors putting up 22 and the Eagles answering with 12 of their own.