North Reading Hornets Football '06

Fri, Oct 27, 2006 07:00 PM @ Lawrence
Team Final
North Reading 19
Lawrence 20

Lawrence flies to win with Carrasco heroics

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Wednesday, August, 29 By Hector Longo
Staff writer

LAWRENCE | His quarterback was sprawled on the bench. His secondary looked like a bad marching band, running into each other with each changing North Reading formation.

And his team was in an all-too-familiar position, letting another winnable football game slip right through its grasp. But somehow Mike Yameen's Lawrence Lancers turned that ugly page and opened what the coach feels could be a new chapter in the program.

Trailing 19-14 in the final minutes of last night's Homecoming thriller, Lawrence rallied around a limping William Carrasco and dropped the Hornets, 20-19.

"We got a little mixed up without (Carrasco) out there on defense and just tried to settle things down," said Yameen, whose club led at halftime, 14-7. "It's the first time in two years we've toughened up and overcome any kind of adversity like this."

The winning drive opened just after Tom MacRae had put the Hornets up 19-14 on a 22-yard hide-and-seek TD run through a pile right up the gut with 4:14 to go.

Sophomore Ramon Heredia, the starting Lancer tailback, had moved up under center for the first time on the varsity level with Carrasco limping with a sprained ankle.

MacRae had just picked off Heredia's first varsity throw, setting up his own TD, but the sophomore showed his heart. He opened the drive with a perfect 11-yard strike to classmate Alex Andrews (5 catches, 82 yards).

Carrasco's re-entry had the Lancers going wild and the senior delivered.

A pitch to Heredia netted five and a 13-yard slant to Marino Rodriguez moved the chains (on fourth-and-5) to the North Reading 37, setting up the play of the night. Carrasco took a snap, hobbled right and lobbed a perfect screen left to Heredia.

"Nothing but green, that's all that was there," said Heredia, who scored all three Lancer TDs. "It's crazy how much room the line got me there."

A flying body block by Wilson Ventura got the speedster to the corner and Andrews screened his man off the play to set Heredia free and clear.

"Ramon is seeing his first varsity work at quarterback, and Will is hurt," said Yameen. "They both get in there and make plays. It was absolutely huge."

Given one final shot with two minutes left, the gritty Hornets, who dressed only 23 players, moved to midfield, but Ventura's third sack of the night and a nice deflection of a screen pass by Jesus "Moose" Moore stunted the march.

"We didn't make the plays when we had to," said Hornets coach Jeff Wall. "They're big and athletic and made plays. We just came up short."

MacRae was a one-man wrecking crew on offense, defense and special teams.

His first two kick returns set North Reading up with starting position at the Lawrence 47 and 49, respectively. He also had the big interception and ran a dozen times for 64 yards.

"He's stepped up big for us," said Wall. "He's a good kid, a hard worker and the guy we get it to when we need it. We just came up a little short tonight."

Brendan Moss tossed a pair of TD passes for the Hornets, now 2-5.

Ventura (14 tackles) anchored a Lawrence defense that played well most of the night.

"They don't use a tight end, so we turned Wilson loose a little bit and he came up big," said Yameen.

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