|10/1/2013 9:50:00 AM ||Email this article Print this article |
|Lawrenceville 54, Flora 14|
Indians recover from sluggish start, improve to 4-1
LAWRENCEVILLE - From a fundamental standpoint, Lawrenceville High School's football team could have played a lot better than it did in the first half of Friday's game against visiting Flora at Ed Loeb Field.
Yet despite losing four fumbles and committing a costly penalty, the Indians were up by a touchdown heading to the break.
The Indians showed what kind of team they really are in the second half as they rolled to their third straight win, 54-14. The clock ran continuously for the game's final 7:23, as the Illinois High School Association's 40-point mercy rule was in effect.
"It was a real concern in the first half," said LHS coach Greg Wood, whose team is now 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Little Illini Conference's Egyptian Division. "We kept shooting ourselves in the foot. We gave Flora everything they had. I didn't yell at halftime. I didn't scream. Basically we congratulated them because they played so bad fundamentally, but they were still ahead (22-14)."
Lawrenceville put together two drives of 70 yards or longer in the first quarter, sandwiched around one by the Wolves (2-3, 0-3 LIC Egyptian).
The Indians converted a Flora turnover into a TD early in the second period to take a 22-8 lead, but the Wolves' cut into the margin at halftime thanks to Logan Dulaney's 25-yard run with a recovered fumble - one of the Indians' four in the first half.
The Tribe quickly restored order in the second half. The LHS defense forced Flora to punt on each of its first two possessions, and the Indians put together touchdown drives of 78 and 71 yards to put the game away.
"We got a lot of kids into the ballgame in the second half," Wood said. "We put a lot of points on the scoreboard and we had a lot of fun."
Again the Indians were able to run all over their opponents. LHS carried 65 times for 430 yards and scored six rushing touchdowns.
Junior quarterback Zach Shoulders was the main threat as he swept his way to 203 yards on 24 carries. Shoulders scored on runs of 17, 25 and 9 yards.
Wood said the signal-caller had been playing with nagging injuries, but is close to being fully healthy.
"It's nice to have him healthy again," said Wood. "It's a real complement to our offense, with the others running so well right now. For him to go over 200 yards is a great thing for us."
In the meantime the LHS defense turned up the heat on the Wolves and senior quarterback Ethan Leib.
Leib completed 10 of 22 passes for 117 yards. But 54 of those yards came on the Wolves' opening 70-yard drive, which ended on Trey Thompson's 16-yard TD run.
Flora finished with negative 13 yards rushing and just 104 yards in total offense.
LHS came through with its first defensive score of the season after sophomore Will Fox blocked a Flora punt. LHS senior co-captain John Thompson scooped up the loose ball and rambled 20 yards for a TD that stretched the LHS lead to 46-14 with 9:06 to play.
Sophomore Logan McGuire, after a Flora fumble, capped off the scoring with a 34-yard touchdown scamper.
Wood said that getting pressure on Leib was a big factor.
"We brought six most of the night, and probably three-quarters of the time I was (blitzing) Trent Jones through the A-gap," Wood said. "We were able to get some pressure on him, which was good. We really contained him. We gave up some things from a passing standpoint but we couldn't let him get loose with his feet."
Leib finished with a negative 22 yards on four carries, including two sacks.
Austin Wanke and Wyatt Rinsch scored the other LHS touchdowns, and the Tribe was also successful on six of seven two-point conversion attempts.
LHS faces an important game next week, at Olney, with a chance to move into a tie for the LIC Egyptian lead. The Tigers (4-1, 3-0 LIC Egyptian) were 35-21 winners at Robinson Saturday afternoon.
Indians 54, Wolves 14
Score by quarters
Flora 6 8 0 0 - 14
Lawrenceville 14 8 8 24 - 54
First downs 5 25
by rushing 1 22
by passing 4 1
by penalty 0 2
Rushes-yards 14- (-13) 65-430
Passing (C-A-I) 10-22-1 1-2-0
Passing yards 117 11
Total yards 104 441
Penalties-yards 5-50 6-45
Punts-average 7-23.8 1-29.0
Fumbles-lost 3-3 7-5
Possession 24:55 23:05
L - Austin Wanke, 1 run (Dalton Vories run), 8:41, 1st qtr. L 8, F 0.
F - Trey Thompson, 16 run (Run failed), 7:46, 1st qtr. L 8, F 6.
L - Wyatt Rinsch, 1 run (Run failed), 3:28, 1st qtr. L 14, F 6.
L - Zach Shoulders, 17 run (Shoulders run), 7:40, 2nd qtr. L 22, F 6.
F - Logan Dulaney, 25 fumble return (Logan Smith pass from Ethan Lieb), 5:05, 2nd qtr. L 22, F 14.
L - Shoulders, 25 run (Rinsch run), 6:05, 3rd qtr. L 30, F 14.
L - Shoulders, 9 run (Jacob pass from Shoulders), 11:13, 4th qtr. L 38, F 14.
L - John Thompson, 20 return of blocked punt (Brandon Bilohlavek pass from Shoulders), 9:06, 4th qtr. L 46, F 14.
L - Logan McGuire, 34 run (McGuire pass from Bryce Winningham), 7:23, 4th qtr. L 54, F 14.
Rushing - Flora: Thompson 5-17 (TD), Smith 1-0, Logan Stone 3-minus 2, Alan Stephenson 1-minus 6, Lei 4-minus 22. Lawrenceville: Shoulders 24-203 (3 TDs), Wanke 11-66 (TD), McGuire 6-58 (TD), Dalton Vories 9-57, Rinsch 12-34 (TD), Kenny Waller 3-12.
Passing - Flora: Leib 10-22-1, 117 yards. Lawrenceville: Shoulders 1-2-0, 11 yards.
Receiving - Flora: Damion Dehlinger 3-65, Smith 3-55, Thompson 2-0, Tristan Litaker 1-minus 1, Stephenson 1-minus 1. Lawrenceville: Brandon Bilohlavek 1-16.
Punting - Flora: Dulaney 7-117, 23.8 avg. Lawrenceville: Bryce Winningham 1-29, 29,0 avg.
Kickoff returns - Flora: Smith 2-33, Eric Szudy 1-28, Louie strange 1-11, Brandon Ray 1-12, Dehlinger 1-6. Lawrenceville: Rinsch 2-56.
Interceptions - Lawrenceville: Rinsch 1-11.