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home : local sports : local sports

9/4/2012 2:20:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Lawrenceville 42, Oblong 19
Interceptions help Indians move to 2-0
LAWRENCEVILLE - It wasn't the 291 passing yards Oblong gained Friday night, or the three touchdowns it threw for, that told the story of the Lawrenceville High School football team's 42-19 conquest of the Panthers at Ed Loeb Field.

Rather it was the bend-but-not-break approach the Indians' took to defending Oblong's Anthony Johnson - a double threat if there ever was one. While Johnson and fellow Panther Alec Jacobs racked up nearly 300 yards through the air, the Indians intercepted Johnson three times while controlling the game from start to finish.

"We knew darn well we weren't going to get a lot of pressure (on Johnson), and we knew darn well he was going to get some yards throwing the ball," LHS coach Greg Wood said. "But what we wanted to take away from him was the run, and we were able to do that, except for one play."

Wood said the Indians (2-0) implemented special coverages, depending upon Oblong's formation, and executed the game plan.

Lawrenceville junior Austin Wanke established the tone for the game less than three minutes in, when he picked off a Johnson pass and raced 60 yards for the first of the Indians' six touchdowns.

Johnson was victimized again three minutes into the second half, moments after the Indians had extended their lead to 28-7. Oblong marched to the LHS 10-yard line, but the threat ended when Zach Shoulders intercepted a Johnson pass at the goal-line and returned it 39 yards. Cole Hulen's interception of Johnson in the fourth quarter proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Oblong (1-1).

"Our secondary is so much improved this year," said Wood, whose team has picked off six passes through the first two weeks of the season. "We've still got a long way to go. The third touchdown (Oblong) scored just shouldn't have happened. But a year ago we wouldn't have even been able to run the coverage we did tonight, because the kids just didn't understand the game well enough to do it. For us to be able to run Cover 2 and Cover 4, and play it against a spread team, says an awful lot about our kids."

While the LHS defense was holding its own, the Indians were again making hay on the ground, offensively. Lawrenceville ran the ball 52 times for 308 yards and wore the Panthers down in the process.

Shoulders was again stellar, carrying 22 times for 161 yards and a touchdown. Hulen proved to again be a human sledgehammer, running 17 times for 118 yards and two TDs.

Lawrenceville also completed its first pass of the season, which was good for a score. After his first four passes of the season fell incomplete, LHS sophomore quarterback John Barnes finally hit paydirt. Barnes found senior Gage McIntosh on a 15-yard "pop pass," for the Indians' final score of the game.

Another LHS senior, lineman Brandon Vessels, earned his first career touchdown, via a fumble recovery. After the Tribe marched to within the shadow of the end zone late in the opening period, one of the LHS runners fumbled. Vessels was in the right place at the right time, as the ball bounced into his arms for a score.

"It was a great win," Wood said. "On both sides of the ball we played well at times. Defensively I was pretty happy, except for that last score. And offensively, when it was necessary, we really took control and marched it down their throats."

The win has the Indians off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2005. While the Tribe has bested two members of the Little Illini Conference's Eastern Division at the outset of the campaign, their first test against an opponent from the Egyptian Division comes Friday night as Robinson (1-1) visits Ed Loeb Field.

Indians 42, Panthers 19

Score by quarters

Oblong 0 7 0 12 - 19

Lawrenceville 14 6 16 6 - 42

Team statistics


First downs 18 18

by rushing 4 16

by passing 12 1

by penalty 2 1

Rushes-yards 21-46 52-308

Passing (C-A-I) 27-44-3 1-3-0

Passing yards 291 15

Total yards 337 323

Penalties-yards 6-52 7-55

Punts-average 5-33.8 3-24.7

Fumbles-lost 1-1 8-2

Possession 23:33 24:27

Scoring summary

L - Austin Wanke, 60 interception return (Zach Shoulders kick), 9:29, 1st qtr. L 7, O o.

L - Brandon Vessels, fumble recovery in end zone (Shoulders kick), 3:30, 1st qtr. L 14, O 0.

O - Collin Meese, 6 pass from Anthony Johnson (Gerald Richardson kick), 6:15, 2nd qtr. L 14, O 7.

L - Cole Hulen, 2 run (Run failed), 4:21, 2nd qtr. L 20, O 7.

L - Shoulders, 2 run (Gage McIntosh pass from John Barnes), 9:25, 3rd qtr. L 28, O 7.

L - Hulen, 1 run (Shoulders run), 4:07, 3rd qtr. L 36, O 7.

O - Meese, 7 pass from Johnson (Pass failed), 9:11, 4th qtr. L 36, O 13.

L - McIntosh, 15 pass from Barnes (Run failed), 5:13, 4th qtr. L 42, O 13.

O - Johnson, 2 pass from Alec Jacobs (Pass failed), 146, 4th qtr. L 42, O 19.

Individual statistics

RUSHING - Oblong: Keaton Neeley 12-38, Johnson 8-20, Jacobs 1-minus 12. Lawrenceville: Shoulders 22-161 (TD), Hulen 17-118 (2 TDs), Evan Staggs 9-34, Austin Wanke 1-2, Barnes, 3-minus 7.

PASSING - Oblong: Johnson 22-38-3, 216 yards, 2 TDs; Jacobs 5-6-0, 75 yards (TD). Lawrenceville: Barnes 1-3-0, 15 yards (TD).

RECEIVING - Oblong: Meese 9-91 (2 TDs), Richardson 4-43, Neeley 4-32, Chase Mendenhall 4-27, Johnson 3-75 (TD), Koert Mehler 3-23. Lawrenceville: McIntosh 1-15 (TD).

PUNTING - Oblong: Mendenhall 5-169, 33.8 avg. Lawrenceville: Shoulders 3-74, 24.7 avg.

PUNT RETURNS - Lawrenceville: Shoulders 2-22, Staggs 1-13.

KICKOFF RETURNS - Oblong: Tucker Inboden 2-15, Richardson 1-16, Johnson 1-3. Lawrenceville: Thomas Mahrenholz 2-0, Shoulders 1-33, Staggs 1-18.

INTERCEPTIONS - Lawrenceville: Wanke 1-60 (TD), Shoulders 1-39, Hulen 1-4.


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