Bulldogs shut out Eagles for second time
FAIRFIELD -- As far as style points go, the Lawrence High School football team is a T-shirt and a pair of faded jeans. Not fancy, just getting the job done.
On Saturday afternoon at Keyes Field, the Bulldogs kept it simple. They ran the ball well and stuffed Messalonskee´s strong ground game. The result was a 27-0 win for the Bulldogs, and a second straight trip to the Pine Tree Conference Class A championship game.
Lawrence, now 10-0, will host No. 2 Cony (8-2) in the conference final next week. No. 4 Messalonskee ends the season 6-4.
It was the second shutout in as many weeks for Lawrence over Messalonskee. In last week´s 21-0 win over the Eagles, the Bulldogs gained just 109 yards on the ground. In the rematch, Lawrence ran for 373 yards.
"We know who we are, as far as what we´re doing well. We want to continue to do those things," Lawrence head coach John Hersom said.
Anthony Sementelli ran for 141 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, while Josh Doolan gained 134 yards and scored twice on 17 carries for Lawrence.
"We worked on our passing game too this week," Sementelli said. "We added a couple more plays to our passing game, but we knew we had the edge in our running game. We just didn´t show it last week. We came out this week and shoved it down their throat."
Added Doolan: "We were hearing talk about them saying they stopped our running game last week. We really strived to push it down the field. All of our lineman did great."
Doolan scored on a 1-yard run with 6 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first quarter to give Lawrence a 7-0 lead. A 24-yard scoring run by Doolan early in the second quarter made it 14-0, and Sementelli scored on a 15-yard run with 47.3 seconds left in the first half to push Lawrence´s lead to 20-0.
"They played a little bit tougher than us up front," Messalonskee interim coach Chapin LaBelle said. "We played tough, I thought, for the first quarter, then it got out of hand when they got that third touchdown before the half."
Messalonskee never got closer to the end zone than the Lawrence 39-yard line. The Bulldogs held the Eagles to 84 yards of total offense.
"We didn´t do a great job of getting to the second level, the linebackers," LaBelle said. "They made a lot of plays at the line of scrimmage."
Messalonskee running back Corey McKenzie, who finished second in the conference in rushing yards in the regular season, gained just 33 yards on 17 carries.
"It was good after we settled down a bit in the first quarter. We were seeing what they were doing with their formation, that created an unbalanced line for them," Hersom said. "We made the adjustment with the guys we needed to and we settled down. We realized a lot of their offense was going to be similar to last week."
The Eagles did try the same wide receiver pass twice. The first time, Jake Dexter´s pass to McKenzie was incomplete, but the Eagles were flagged for an illegal forward pass because quarterback Josh Woodard´s throw to Dexter to start the play was not a lateral. The second time Messalonskee tried the play, Lawrence´s Spencer Carey made a one-handed interception near midfield.