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QB Christen guides top-ranked Lawrence Central to victory
October 29, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
By James Howell
For VYPE Magazine (Central Indiana)
Lawrence Central quarterback Drake Christen continued his tear throughout the state of Indiana in Friday night’s Sectional 5 semifinal matchup at Warren Central High School.
Christen, standing at 5-foot- 9 and weighing in at only 160 pounds, had 778 rushing yards along with eight rushing touchdowns coming into the Bears’ matchup with the Warriors. Adding to the rushing attack he brought in, Christen had thrown for 1,340 yards and 14 touchdowns.
By the end of Friday night’s game he would add to both.
Christen would be a part of all three scores for the Class 5A No. 1 Bears (11-0) en route to a 21-14 win over the No. 11 Warriors (5-6).
The first of the three for Christen came on a 3-yard pass to senior Darien Taylor. The touchdown ended a 15-play drive, covering 84 yards and taking up 6 minutes, 53 seconds of the clock.
During the second quarter, Warren Central had their first chance to score. However, on third-and-goal, Warren Central quarterback Anthony Cooper-Taylor threw a post route into the end zone, which was intercepted by Quenten Thurman of the Bears.
With the ball on their own 3 yard line, the Bears would go back to work looking for an opening to extend their lead. A play-action quarterback draw was called, and Christen found a seam. Christen broke free to about the 30 yard line before it became a foot race between him and the Warren Central defense.
As Christen was attempting to outrun the Warriors, he lost the handle of the ball.
“I saw two people coming on both sides of me, and tried to keep it high and tight, and it must have just slipped out,” Christen said.
However, on Saturday morning Christen elaborated through his Twitter account, “Just watched that fumble. This is so embarrassing lol.”
The Warriors would take over at the Bears 47. They would eventually punt back to the Bears, so no damage was done.
After a three-and-out, the Bears would opt to punt it back, but not without some drama. Warren Central muffed the catch to give the Bears the ball back at their own 38.
After three rush plays and one pass play the Bears used the short field to set up at the Warren Central 15 with only 1:08 remaining in the first half. A pass on an out route running Trey White would give the Bears another touchdown. It would be Christen’s second touchdown pass of the night and 16th on the season.
Both teams were scoreless early in the second half. However, at the end of the third Warren Central moved into Bears’ territory.
The Warriors ran the final 10 plays of the third quarter to position themselves at the Lawrence Central 13 to start the fourth quarter.
Following a sack, the Warriors lined up at the 16 yard line facing a crucial third down. Opting for a pass play, quarterback, Cooper-Taylor hit wide receiver Darius Lee in the back of the end zone to cut the deficit 14-7.
Immediately after the score, the Bears returned the kickoff past midfield, setting up a chance to for another decisive score.
After a long run was called back due to a penalty, the Bears faced a fourth down just outside field-goal range. Going for it on fourth down, Christen took it to the house from 27 yards out.
With 9:10 left in the game, and facing a 21-7 deficit, the Warriors refused to give up despite adversity. After senior quarterback, Cooper-Taylor went down due to a leg injury; junior Jeff George Jr. came into the game and made an immediate impact.
The Warriors scored a touchdown late with a pass from George to wide receiver Krishawn Hogan and with only 2:20 remaining the Warriors attempted an onside kick. Unable to field it and with no timeouts remaining, the Warriors were left on defense as the Bears held on to win 21-14.
Drake Christen finished the game with 20 carries for 159 yards and one rushing touchdown. He also added two passing touchdowns.
“That defense – that is a great defense. We studied a lot of film on them and it paid off,” Christen said.
Lawrence Central coach Jayson West credited his entire team for the win, especially Christen, after the game.
“He is our Mr. Football,” West said. “He played exactly how we needed him to play.”