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LC Bears get one step closer to state, eliminate Pike at regional
November 12, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
By Jason Haddix
For VYPE Magazine (Central Indiana)
INDIANAPOLIS—The tone was set early when the Lawrence Central Bears (13-0) took their first play from scrimmage in for a touchdown, sending the Pike Red Devils (9-4) reeling early.
The No. 1 ranked Bears defended their home turf by capturing the Class 5A regional title as they downed the Red Devils 49-21.
Lawrence Central lined up on offense at its own 20 with 12 minutes on the clock to start the game. The ball was snapped and handed off to senior Isaiah Townsend, who scampered 80 yards in 13 seconds, and just like that the Bears were up 7-0.
“That was cool,” Lawrence Central Coach Jayson West said. “We weren’t expecting that. Anything you get, you take in the playoffs.”
The touchdown was the first of three Lawrence Central touchdowns that went for over 60 yards.
“That was nice and we have to have those,” West said. “We are a little banged up (on the offensive line), so it is hard for us to bang and grind right now.”
Townsend went on to add another score in the forth quarter ending with 118 yards on 12 touches.
“Coming into the game we wanted to get off to a fast start… punish them physically,” senior quarterback Drake Christen said. “Last game, we did not do very well until the end of the game, and it worked for us. We know when we come out and punish them we can move the ball down field.”
Much of the talk surrounding the Bears this season was about the offense but the defense and special teams came up big Friday night.
Up 14-0 after Alex Rodrigues ran one in from two yards out, the Bears forced the Red Devils second punt on a four-and-out.
Senior Trey White fielded the punt at the 29—he weaved his way 71 yards for Lawrence Central’s third touchdown in less than four minutes; Bears up, 21-0.
Pike answered with an 11-play, 64-yard drive, capped off when junior Brent Lyles connected with fellow junior Taylor Sanders for a 36-yard touchdown strike to draw within 14 after one quarter.
It was Sanders only reception of the game to go along with his team-leading 44 yards on the ground.
The Bears scored once in the second quarter to take a 28-7 lead into the half.
With the offense and special teams putting points on the board, the defense felt like getting in on the scoring action as well.
Pike, down by 21, midway through the third quarter lined up to go for it on fourth-and-three. Lyles dropped back and threw it in the direction of junior Dominique Booth. Lawrence Central junior Brandon Lee intercepted the pass and took it 62 yards the other way for a pick-six. After the PAT the Bears were up 35-7.
“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Lee said. “My coaches went hard on me all week and had me in the right places. I have to thank the defense and everyone else for doing their job.”
Lee added another score when he recovered a Pike fumble and returned it 56 yards for the score.
“That is what saved us,” West said. “If he doesn’t get those two touchdowns, they are right there and it is a barnburner and that just deflates a team.”
The Bears were led in rushing by Christen with 131 yards on 15 attempts. He also completed seven passes on 13 attempts for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Pike added a touchdown to end the third and another in the fourth.
"There's no doubt that's the best team in the state of Indiana," Pike coach Derek Moyers. "If anybody beats them, I'll be shocked. It may happen, I don't know, but if I have to bet the ranch that's who I'm betting on.”
The Red Devils turned to the passing game after getting down early. Lyles put it up 43 times, completing 18 of them for 211 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
“Forty-nine to 21, that should be a message to whoever we play next,” Lee said. “The message that we’re on the road to state. That is all we are looking forward to—the road to state.”