Rocky Mount mauls Lawrence

Published 3:53 pm Sunday, August 30, 2015

MERRY HILL – For 24 minutes, upstart Lawrence Academy gave the NCISAA’s defending state champions all they could handle.

Unfortunately for the home-standing Warriors, a high school football contest measures 48 minutes in duration.

A drive-ending interception in the endzone took the wind out of the Warriors sails late in the first half and Lawrence never recovered as Rocky Mount Academy reeled off four straight touchdowns in the second half, eventually turning a narrow 23-12 halftime lead into a 58-20 win here Friday night in eight-man football action.

The visiting Eagles turn the tide of the game in the third quarter, scoring twice: the first on a Kyle Holland’s 13-yard run; and a one-yard TD blast by Isaiah Thomas, extending Rocky Mount’s lead to 38-12 by the end of the period.

A two-touchdown blitz in the opening 35 seconds of the fourth quarter blew the game open for Rocky Mount. The first came on Holland’s 41-yard scoring pass to Jacob Braddy.

After the ensuing kick-off, Lawrence found themselves pinned deep at their own 5 yardline. On the first snap from that point, the Warriors fumbled and Rocky Mount’s Tyson Jones recovered for a touchdown as the Eagles now led 52-12.

Trey Styons gave the Lawrence faithful something to cheer about on the game’s next play as he returned the kick-off 95 yards to paydirt. Jarrett Harrell ran in the two-point conversion as Lawrence trailed 52-20.

Rocky Mount added a meaningless touchdown midway the fourth quarter on Caleb Lambert’s two-yard run to close out the scoring.

Lawrence struck first in the game after they opened with an onside kick, recovered by William Ryan Nelson at the Eagles 48 yardline. Sparked by a 30-yard pass from Harrell to Bryant Goodwin, the Warriors scored four plays later on Harrell’s 12-yard TD pass to Styons. The conversion failed, but Lawrence led 6-zip at the 10:36 mark of the first quarter.

Rocky Mount grabbed the lead for-keeps at 15-6 by tallying the game’s next two touchdowns with Holland having a hand in both – a 9-yard scoring pass to Christopher Rabil (1st quarter) and his 26-yard run (2nd quarter).

Lawrence answered with a big strike as Harrell tossed a 42-yard TD pass to Goodwin, trimming their deficit to 15-12 with 5:20 left in the second quarter.

The Eagles tallied one more score before halftime, this one coming on Jones’ 8-yard run to make it a 23-12 lead for the guests.

Lawrence totaled 247 yards of offense, led by Harrell’s 171 yards passing. Goodwin was his top target, catching three passes for 122 yards.

Rocky Mount finished with 464 yards of offense, with 320 coming on the ground. Lambert led that ground attack with 135 yards on 20 carries.

The Warriors (1-1) will visit R-C area rival Northeast Academy next Friday (Sept. 4). Kick-off is at 7 p.m.