Lawrence Lancers Football '15

Central holds off Lawrence

LAWRENCE — Though the offense wasn’t its usual self, Central Catholic survived a tough Thanksgiving showdown with crosstown rival Lawrence to win 21-6 thanks to a pair of timely interceptions.
It was the first Thanksgiving matchup between the two schools.
Central was led on offense by sophomore quarterback Bret Edwards, who went 11 for 20 with 144 yards passing and two touchdowns, but the star of the game was Lawrence senior receiver Eddie Cabrera, who played the game of his life.
Cabrera made six catches for 121 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown in the third quarter, and also grabbed an interception. Several of his catches also came in key third- and fourth-down situations, and it seemed like every time his number was called, Cabrera delivered.
“He stepped up big time,” said Lawrence coach Mike Yameen. “I thought it was his best game of the year, with all of our starters out he came through and stepped up in a big way.”
Cabrera’s first catch came on Lawrence’s first possession of the game, grabbing a 33-yard pass from quarterback Ismael Jenkins on third down to move Lawrence right down to the Central goal line.
But two plays later, Jenkins was intercepted in the end zone by Central senior Greg Marggraf, who jumped a slant route in a play reminiscent of Malcolm Butler in the Super Bowl.
Marggraf returned the pick all the way to midfield. From there, Central only needed six plays to complete the seven-point swing, with Edwards capping off the drive with a 32-yard touchdown to Steven Jackson to make it 7-0.
“That was a big play,” said Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos said of the interception. “That would have given them a lot of emotion if they’d started off with a touchdown right there.”
Central (10-1) got another touchdown late in the second quarter on a 19-yard pass by Edwards to senior Omar Deschamps to make it 14-0 at halftime.
Then, after receiving the opening kickoff of the third quarter, Central scored again after Deschamps capped off a 10-play drive with a 3-yard touchdown to make it 21-0.
Lawrence caught a big break on its next drive after Central was called for pass interference on a 4th and 4 play. Looking to take advantage, Jenkins hit Cabrera for a 30-yard completion, only a penalty nullified the big gain and moved Lawrence back to midfield.
No matter. On the very next play, Jenkins went right back to Cabrera, only this time for a 50-yard touchdown. Central blocked the ensuing kick, keeping it at 21-6 with 5:02 to play in the third.
Lawrence (3-8) had a chance to pull within one score early in the fourth, driving all the way to Central’s 28 on a drive that featured two big catches by Cabrera, one on 4th and 7 and the other on 3rd and 15. But once again, Lawrence couldn’t punch it in, as Central senior defensive back Mike Mercuri came up with an interception.
From that point on, all Central needed to do was run the clock out, and though their first attempt ended in a quick three and out, Lawrence couldn’t move the ball on it’s last possession, allowing Central to hold on for the win.
It was the Raiders’ 18th straight win over LHS, which hasn’t beaten Central since 1985.
“When you play good teams like this, you can’t make mistakes, you’ve got to take care of the ball,” said Lawrence coach Mike Yameen. “You can’t turn the ball over against a team like this, they’re too good.”
Central started the game shorthanded, losing three starters to suspension, which will also keep them out of next Saturday’s Division 1 state championship game vs. unbeaten Xaverian at Gillette Stadium.
Central suffered another loss in the second quarter after promising sophomore tailback Max Faro suffered what appeared to be an upper body injury. Faro had to be taken off on a stretcher, but he was able to stand on his own power before sitting down and being carried off.
Adamopoulos didn’t have any details on Faro’s injury after the game, but said it appeared serious enough that he’ll likely miss the title game.

Read More »
Football, 11/26/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Chrstopher, Perry lead Andover to big victory

LAWRENCE — Six days removed from being eliminated from the playoffs in heart-wrenching fashion — with its archrival overcoming a stunning rally to take a step towards the Super Bowl — Andover could have allowed the enormous frustration and disappointment to hang over the remaining two games of the 2015 season.

Read More »
Football, 11/13/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Late fumble recovery TD disallowed, Lawrence falls

LAWRENCE — For a few moments, it seemed as if the play of the year could be unfolding.

Read More »
Football, 11/06/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central rolls to easy win over Lawrence

LAWRENCE — On a team with a wealth of wide receivers, it’s not always easy to get your share of the spoils.
So Central Catholic senior quad-captain Mike Mercuri had a right to boast Friday night when he scored the game’s first touchdown, and his first of the season. He took a swing pass to the left, shrugged off one Lawrence tackler and eluded another on his way to a 62-yard score less than three minutes into the game.
Mercuri also caught a spectacular 44-yarder early in the third quarter, sparking a three-touchdown flurry as the No. 2-seed Raiders pulled away from a 14-0 halftime lead to roll past the Lancers, 42-15, in the quarterfinals of the Division 1 playoffs.
The Raiders (7-1) will host Andover (6-2) in the semifinals Friday.
But Mercuri was less excited about his offensive exploits than his defense, which included two of five sacks on Lawrence quarterback Ismael Jenkins.
“I liked the sacks more,” said Mercuri. “I like to hit people.”
Said Central coach Chuck Adamopoulos. “Mike’s a good receiver and a good athlete. We were just talking the other day about how he hadn’t scored a touchdown yet, so this was nice to see.”
Mercuri’s early TD, followed by a 20-yard touchdown run by Bret Edwards that capped a seven-play drive, gave Central an early 14-0 lead. It looked like it would be an easy win.
But Lawrence, which was held without a first down in the first quarter, came alive in the second quarter, collecting six first downs, advancing to the Central 19 on one drive and keeping the Raiders to just 11 yards of offense.
But the game turned around in the third quarter when the Raiders scored on three straight drives, all on touchdowns by Omar Deschamps, two on runs (4 and 38 yards) and one on a 35-yard reception.
“I liked the way the kids responded in the third quarter,” said Adamopoulos. “Lawrence is a tough team and their record is deceiving.”
Showing its depth, Edwards (9 of 16, 197 yards) completed passes to six different receivers and had eight players carry the ball. One of the receivers, David Onyemem, had a spectacular 20-yard reception, and one of the backs, Max Faro, had a 75-yard run to cap the scoring.
On defense, Connor Hagerty joined Mercuri with a pair of sacks and Pat Schena and Mike Horak also played well.
Trailing 42-0 early in the fourth, Lawrence (3-5) scored twice against the Central reserves, first on an 11-yard TD pass from backup QB Ronny Pena and then on a 3-yard run by Angel Abreu, who had 71 of his 86 yards in the final quarter.
“We played well at times but you can’t have a first quarter like that and give them opportunities,” said Lawrence coach Mike Yameen.

Read More »
Football, 10/31/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Samuelman’s heroics lift Knights to victory over Lawrence

NORTH ANDOVER — Clinging on to a 28-23 lead, North Andover found itself backed into its own end zone with Lawrence driving for the lead. The Lancers had just converted two long fourth downs, and now one more play would give the Lancers an incredible comeback win. But then Joe Samuelman stepped in front of the ball for the interception, and just like that, the game was over. With five starters out, including key playmakers Jukka Morales and Ryan Good, the Knights needed Samuelman to do it all, and their senior tri-captain came through. Samuelman finished with 118 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries while grabbing two interceptions at linebacker, including the game-winner with 27 seconds to play. "It was an All-Scholastic performance," said North Andover coach John Dubzinski. "On offense he ran the ball great, on defense he was all over the field, he was just a menace to their offense." The win all but assures that North Andover (4-3) will qualify for the Division 2 North playoffs, while handing a major setback to the Lancers (3-4). The Knight's opening round opponent will be announced later this weekend. The Knights completely stuffed Lawrence's run game, holding the Lancers to negative 33 yards overall, but the Lancers proved resilient in other areas, returning two kickoffs for touchdowns while recovering a pair of North Andover fumbles. The first kickoff return came on the game's opening play, when Darryl Munoz went 85 yards to the house to put Lawrence up 7-0. North Andover came back with a 2-yard touchdown from Samuelman later in the quarter, but the Lancers blocked the kick to maintain a 7-6 lead. North Andover quarterback Seamus Lambert rushed for a 29-yard touchdown midway though the second to briefly take a 12-7 lead, but after Lawrence stripped a North Andover player near their own end zone two possessions later, QB Ismael Jenkins found Angel Abreu for a 5-yard score to make it 14-12. The Scarlet Knights grabbed the lead again in the third quarter after Samuelman rushed for another 2-yard score, which he followed with a 2-point conversion to make it 20-14. The Knights extended that lead early in the fourth when Lambert hit Thomas Regan, who deftly juked a defender for a 54-yard touchdown. It was 28-14 and North Andover's game to lose, but then Lawrence responded with a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown courtesy of Abreu, and just like that, it was all wide open again. Lawrence stopped North Andover on third and short to force a punt with 2:04 to play. A bad snap dribbled out of the back of the end zone for a safety, meaning Lawrence would have a chance to drive for the win. Lawrence returned the kickoff past midfield to start off with great field position, but then a sack and an intentional grounding penalty pushed the Lancers into a 3rd and 20 situation. Needing a conversion, Jenkins went to receiver Luis Crispin, who rewarded him with a 14-yard completion and then a 9-yarder on fourth down to keep the drive alive. Then, facing 4th and 10, Crispin saved his team again with a diving catch out of bounds to set up a 1st and goal from the 10, winner-take-all scenario. "If they scored the game would be over, because we had no time," Dubzinski said. "They did great with clock management, they made great plays and we were very fortunate that Joe was in the right place at the right time." The late interception was the latest in a series of setbacks for the snake-bitten Lancers, who will now need a lot of help to qualify for the playoffs. "This team is pretty resilient, it's been like that all year, things just haven't fallen our way this year," Lawrence coach Mike Yameen said. "Hopefully we'll get a second chance, we have to hope a couple of teams knock each other off."

Read More »
Football, 10/23/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Lawrence gets back on track

DRACUT — Winning is the cure for any slumping sports team. For Lawrence, Friday's 41-20 rout of Dracut came as the much needed antibiotic the Lancers needed to get their season back on track.

Read More »
Football, 10/16/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

McAndrew, Rangers hold off Lawrence

LAWRENCE — Methuen didn’t make it easy on itself, but it walked out of Lawrence Stadium with a 27-21 win over Lawrence Friday night in front of a rowdy crowd on homecoming. Lawrence took a 6-0 lead on the game’s opening drive but the momentum soon swung in Methuen’s favor. The Rangers took a 7-6 lead with 3:39 left in the first quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Angel Abreu collected Jordan Perdomo’s kick at his own 12 and sprinted 63 yards to the Methuen 25 before he fumbled the wet ball making a cut, and it was recovered by the Rangers. Methuen didn’t score after recovering — Perdomo hit the upright on a 38-yard field goal try — but it allowed the Rangers to eat up a huge chunk of the clock. Methuen had possession for 14 of the game’s 22 minutes in the first half. “We started to feel the momentum come our way after we scored,” said Methuen head coach Tom Ryan. “Then after the fumble, even though we didn’t really cause it and we didn’t score, to get the ball back there helped settle us down.” Michael Bodenrader completed a fake punt earlier in the half to keep a drive alive. With 22 seconds left in the second quarter he hauled in a halfback option pass from Brian McAndrew to extend the Ranger lead to 14-6. Then just 2:08 into the third quarter, McAndrew was at it again. The senior took a short pass from Kendrick Denose and hustled 46 yards for a score to give the Rangers a comfortable 21-6 lead. “He’s sort of our Mr. Everything,” Ryan said. “He’s a receiver, he’s our backup quarterback, he’s just a gym rat. He made a nice play on the fake punt and that kept a drive alive. We need guys like him playing the way he did.” Methuen would need some of that cushion after the Lancers drove 70 yards on eight plays, capping off the drive when Eddie Cabrera dove to catch a pass from Ismael Jenkins in the end zone. On the conversion, Jenkins hit Abreu in the corner of the end zone to make it 21-14. After forcing a pair of three-and-outs, Lawrence was driving late in the game down just one touchdown but the Methuen defense held the Lancers on fourth down at their own 15. Kendrick Denose then added even more insurance with an 83-yard touchdown run. It was a good thing, because Lawrence again drove down field, with Jenkins hitting Eddie Cabrera for a 71-yard touchdown strike with just 1:26 left. However the Rangers recovered an onside kick attempt to end the ballgame. “We have some things we need to work on for sure,” Ryan said. “A win is a win, but we’re going to need to play a lot cleaner to beat a team like North Andover. This is still a really good Lawrence team that never quits, and I know that this place is a tough place to come in and play so it’s good to get a win here.” Lawrence targeted Eagle-Tribune All-Star receiver Luis Crispin eight times, but the Rangers defense held him to just two catches for 35 yards, double-teaming him most of the night.

Read More »
Football, 10/09/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Billerica blitzes Lancers in shut out

BILLERICA — It was a dominating performance by Billerica on Friday night, as the Indians blanked conference rival Lawrence 27-0. The Indians relied heavily on their running game to set the tone early, as starting quarterback Justin Beck only dropped back to pass seven times throughout the entire game, and Billerica was able to use its size to get whatever it wanted on offense. "They're good. We got to make plays against teams like this," said Lawrence head coach Mike Yameen. "We had a couple drives that stalled out, some mental mistakes, and I told the guys that they played harder and faster than us today. That can't happen against good teams like this." Yameen and the Lancers could do nothing to stop running back Drew Laundry, who totaled 168 all purpose yards (147 rushing) to go along with two rushing touchdowns. Billerica jumped out in front right away, methodically driving 66 yards on eight plays to score a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. The Lancers were hurt by star running back Kenny Richards missing his second straight week with a knee injury, and key defensive player Eddie Cabrera also had to watch the game from the sidelines for the Lancers due to an injury. The Indians, meanwhile, utilized every call in their playbook in front of a good home crowd. With 6:25 left in the first half, Beck threw an out pass to wideout Dean Brooks who dropped back himself to zip a spiral to a wide open Jeff Trainor for a 40-yard pass. "We shot ourselves in the foot a few times, and you just can't do that against a good team like this," said Yameen. Though the score didn't show it, the Lancers showed great fight in the loss. The Lancer defense got up to make a huge fourth down goal line stop late in the third quarter that would have made the scoreboard look even more lopsided. The trouble was the team couldn't get anything going on offense. Quarterback Ismael Jenkins was only 5-for-16 with 50 yards, and while. Darryl Munoz and Angel Abrue tried to pick up the workload on the ground for the Lancers, they couldn't get in the endzone. "We got to finish off our drives, and get off the field on fourth down," Yameen said. Lawrence, now 2-1, will gear up for its game against Haverhill next Friday night.

Read More »
Football, 09/25/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Lawrence shuts out Malden

LAWRENCE — You would have to go back eight years to find the last time the Lawrence Lancers and Malden Golden Tornados met on the football field.  The two teams opened the 2008 season with a defensive struggle that Lawrence ultimately won 13-7.

Read More »
Football, 09/18/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Jenkins big in comeback win for Lawrence

LOWELL — For nearly a century these teams, Lawrence High and Lowell High, finished their seasons going head-to-head on Thanksgiving Day before packed stadiums.

Some things have changed, including the smaller crowds, and last night the rivals met on opening night in Massachusetts.

Read More »
Football, 09/11/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars