February 26, 2015
|9/18/2012 9:43:00 AM ||Email this article Print this article |
|Indians find air attack, roll past Eagles|
Lawrenceville 40, Newton 14
NEWTON - Even with a one-dimensional offense, Lawrenceville High School's team was pretty good.
But with a passing game to go along with an established ground attack, second-year LHS coach Greg Wood realized his team could be dynamite.
So following a 20-0 loss to Robinson on Sept. 15, Wood decided to pull the trigger on a move he'd been mulling over. He replaced sophomore quarterback John Barnes with his classmate, Zach Shoulders, who has a much stronger arm.
The results were eye-opening, as the Indians rolled to a 40-14 Little Illini Conference Egyptian Division win at Newton Friday evening. Lawrenceville rolled up 396 yards on the ground and rushed for four touchdowns. Furthermore Shoulders was good on four of the seven passes he attempted, for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns and no interceptions. Senior Gage McIntosh was on the receiving end of all four completions.
"John Barnes did everything we asked him to do," said Wood, after the Indians improved to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the Egyptian Division. "But we thought we were going to get (senior quarterback) Cole Steffey back last week and we didn't. I just thought it was time to make a change."
Shoulders, mainly running quarterback sweeps, carried 15 times for 198 yards and had TD runs of 2 and 12 yards. Senior Cole Hulen was also a workhorse, carrying 27 times - mostly between the tackles - for 163 yards, including a 2-yard TD dive.
"I thought Zach did an awesome job tonight," Wood said. "We can get the ball down the field now, and teams have to respect that. Teams know we're still going to run the ball. But we have to be able to pass the ball, too. We proved tonight we could do that."
The Indians punted only once in the game, on their first possession. Newton capitalized on a chance to take an early lead, moving 70 yards in nine plays. The Eagles (1-3, 1-1 LIC Egyptian) moved in front with 5:05 remaining in the opening stanza when Dylan Davidson hauled in a 20-yard pass from Dylan Johnson.
Faced with the prospect of losing their first two conference games, the Tribe responded with a crucial scoring drive. LHS marched 54 yards in eight plays and pulled to within 7-6 on Hulen's touchdown run.
Evan Staggs then intercepted Johnson's pass, and LHS put the new dimension to use. Faced with fourth down from the Newton 33, Shoulders dropped back to pass for the first time. He found McIntosh running all alone down the left sideline, and made the completion for the go-ahead score at the 11:05 mark of the second period.
The Indians took advantage of the momentum to quickly extend their lead. Drives of 70 and 77 yards, both of which ended with touchdown runs by Shoulders, pushed the margin to 28-7 with 1:27 remaining in the half.
The Eagles had just enough time to counter with a scoring march of their own. Another Johnson-to-Davidson hookup, this one covering 20 yards, pulled the hosts to within 28-14 at the break.
The Indians made the necessary defensive adjustments at halftime to turn the game into a rout. Johnson completed only one pass in the second half, as the Tribe kept the hosts off the scoreboard for the remainder of the game.
Shoulders found McIntosh for a 38-yard touchdown early in the third quarter, which pushed the lead to 34-14. That capped an 87-yard, seven-play drive.
LHS finished the job late in the third period, moving 57 yards in eight plays. Austin Wanke added the final touch, scoring from five yards out.
It was the first meeting between the Indians and Eagles since 1996, but the teams had played often before that. Lawrenceville now holds a 16-12-1 lead in the all-time series, according to Newton records. The first time the teams played was in 1926, when Lawrenceville posted a 6-0 shutout.
Wood proclaimed the Indians alive and well in a bid for the first conference championship since 1979, when they copped the North Egypt Conference title.
"This puts us on the map in the conference," he said. "We've got to hope for a little help. But we're still fighting for the conference championship."
The Tribe will travel to Flora Friday for another LIC Egyptian game.
Indians 40, Eagles 14
Score by quarters
Lawrenceville 6 22 12 0 - 40
Newton 7 7 0 0 - 14
First downs 20 13
by rushing 15 4
by passing 4 7
by penalty 1 2
Rushes-yards 60-396 19-41
Passing (C-A-I) 4-7-0 17-31-1
Passing yards 110 167
Total yards 506 208
Penalties-yards 8-50 2-20
Punts-average 1-37.0 6-36.0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0
Possession 29:15 18:45
N - Dylan Davidson, 20 pass from Dylan Johnson (Davidson kick), 5:05. 1st qtr. N 7, L 0.
L - Cole Hulen, 2 run (Run failed), 1:20 1st qtr. N 7, L 6.
L - Gage McIntosh, 33 pass from Zach Shoulders (Shoulders run), 11:05, 2nd qtr. L 14, N 7.
L - Shoulders, 2 run (Run failed), 6:42, 2nd qtr. L 20, N 7.
L - Shoulders, 12 run (Hulen run), 1:27, 2nd qtr. L 28, N 7.
N - Davidson, 20 pass from Johnson (Davidson kick), :18, 2nd qtr. L 28, N 14.
L - McIntosh, 38 pass from Shoulders (Run failed), 8:25, 3rd qtr. L 34, N 14.
L - Austin Wanke, 5 run (Pass failed), 4:12, 3rd qtr. L 40, N 14.
RUSHING - Lawrenceville: Shoulders 15-198 (2 TDs), Hulen 27-163 (TD), Wanke 10-26 (TD), Evan Staggs 8-9. Newton: Zack Lewis 3-18, Derek Schackmann 2-16, Allen Taylor 3-10, Johnson 3-2, Tanner Shull 1-1, Brandon Tolliver-Goode 7-minus 6.
PASSING - Lawrenceville: Shoulders 4-7-0, 110 yards (2 TDs). Newton: Johnson 13-23-1, 121 yards (2 TDs), Schackmann 4-8-0, 46 yards.
Receiving - Lawrenceville: McIntosh 4-110 (2 TDs). Newton: Davidson 8-92 (2 TDs), Schackmann 4-30, Marcus Pilman 2-27, Tolliver-Goode 1-7, Taylor 1-7, Jacob Lidy 1-7.
Punting - Lawrenceville: Shoulders 1-37, 37.0 avg. Newton: Johnson 6-216, 36.0 avg.
Punt returns - Lawrenceville: Staggs 1-10. Newton: Davidson 1-minus 1.
Kickoff returns - Lawrenceville: Staggs 2-45, Austin Dorney 1-2. Newton: Tolliver-Goode 4-42, Davidson 2-28.
Interceptions - Lawrenceville: Staggs 1-0.