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home : local sports : local sports

9/25/2012 10:54:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Indians pull away from Flora; Showdown on horizon


FLORA - Lawrenceville High School's football team wasn't at its best Friday night, but the Indians were plenty good enough.

Lawrenceville survived a sluggish first half before coming to life in a 33-7 conquest of host Flora in Little Illini Conference Egyptian Division play in the soggy conditions at Dancey Field.

The win sets up a showdown between the Indians (4-1, 2-1 LIC Egyptian) and Olney (4-1, 3-0 LIC Egyptian) in Lawrenceville's homecoming game at 2 p.m., Saturday.

"In the first half we weren't all there and we didn't play very well," said LHS coach Greg Wood, whose team outgained the Wolves, 292-212. "But we had a couple of big plays, and led 13-0 (at halftime). I was actually disappointed, and that's a good thing. I think we're a better football team than that."

Things didn't get any better at the outset of the second half, when Flora (1-4, 1-3 LIC Egyptian) marched 76 yards in 13 plays, taking 7:44 off the clock, for its only score of the game.

The Indians stepped on the gas pedal at that point, as they took advantage of good field position and scored touchdowns on their next three possessions.

Senior Evan Staggs had a breakout game for the Indians, as he carried 17 times for a season-high 124 yards, while scoring touchdowns on runs of one and four yards.

"I'm sure Flora was looking at Zach Shoulders and Cole Hulen," Wood said. " Evan (Staggs) hadn't really broken loose in a game yet. Tonight we found a play that worked for him. He made some great cut-backs and had some good, long runs. He had a big night, and I'm very happy for him."

After Flora quarterback Ethan Leib capped his team's scoring drive by diving in from the 1-yard line, the Indians moved to the Flora 1 before turning the ball over on downs.

LHS quickly forced the Wolves to punt, and took over at the Wolves' 22. Lawrenceville needed just four plays to stretch the lead to 21-7, as Staggs capped the drive with his first touchdown. Shoulders passed to Gage McIntosh for the two-point conversion.

Lawrenceville then put the game away, as Hulen and Staggs scored on short runs.

Wood says the Tribe continues to search for consistency.

"We need to be like the team that showed up at Newton a week ago," he said. "That team didn't show up here tonight. We persevered. We continued to fight all the way through and ended up with the victory, and that's good."

Despite the Indians' sluggish first half, McIntosh was able to find the end zone twice. On his first carry of the season, the senior rumbled 23 yards for a touchdown on the second LHS possession. Later, McIntosh caught a 10-yard TD pass from Shoulders, stretching the lead to 13-0.

Still, Leib has able to hurt the Tribe through the air in the opening half and on the first possession of the second. He finished with 84 passing yards. Fortunately for Lawrenceville, Flora receivers weren't able to hang on to a few other passes, or the game may have been closer.

"I coach the secondary, so maybe I should be yelling at myself," Wood said. "Maybe when I go home, I'll look in the mirror and start yelling. Everybody knew they were going to run that pass, but we didn't cover it very well tonight."

Still, thanks to Olney's 21-20 overtime win over Robinson, the Indians have a chance to claim the Egyptian Division crown. Olney will bring a 3-0 league mark into Saturday's showdown. LHS, Robinson and Newton will all enter the week with 2-1 conference marks.

"We're 4-1 (overall)," Wood said. "We've got a shot at the conference title, and I can't ask for anything more."

Indinas 33, Wolves 7

Score by quarters

Lawrenceville 7 6 0 20 - 33

Flora 0 0 7 0 - 7

Team statistics


First downs 19 11

by rushing 19 7

by passing 0 4

by penalty 0 0

Rushes-yards 50-282 38-128

Passing (C-A-I) 1-5-1 5-13-0

Passing yards 10 84

Total yards 292 212

Penalties-yards 5-35 2-15

Punts-average 1-40.0 3-27.3

Fumbles-lost 2-0 4-1

Possession 22:03 25:57

Scoring summary

L - Gage McIntosh, 23 run (Zach Shoulders kick), 5:40, 1st qtr. L 7, F 0.

L - McIntosh, 10 pass from Shoulders (Kick failed), 6:04, 2nd qtr. L 13, F 0.

F - Ethan Leib, 1 run (Trey Thompson kick), 4:16, 3rd qtr. L 13, F 7.

L - Evan Staggs, 1 run (McIntosh pass from Shoulders), 10:16, 4th qtr. L 21, F 7.

L - Staggs, 4 run (Kick failed), 3:58, 4th qtr. L 27, F 7.

L - Cole Hulen, 1 run (Kick failed), 1:24, 4th qtr. L 33, F 7.

Individual statistics

Rushing - Lawrenceville: Staggs 17-124 (2 TDs), Hulen 16-53 (TD), Austin Wanke 8-42, Shoulders 7-37, McIntosh 2-26 (TD). Flora: Thompson 14-83, Conner Earleywine 7-26, Corey Moore 6-12, Leib 8-5 (TD), Logan Eckleberry 2-3, Logan Dulane 1-0.

Passing - Lawrenceville: Shoulders 1-5-1, 10 yards (TD). Flora: Leib 5-13-0, 84 yards.

Receiving - Lawrenceville: McIntosh 1-10 (TD). Flora: Kyle Nicholson 3-67, Gavin Lucas 1-10, Moore 1-9.

Punting - Lawrenceville: Zach Shoulders 1-40, 40.0 avg. Flora: Alec Shade 3-82, 27.3 avg.

Punt returns - Lawrenceville: Shoulders 2-44.

Kickoff returns - Lawrenceville: Staggs 1-17. Flora: Nicholson 3-33, Moore 2-30.

Interceptions - Flora: Lein 1-0.


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