FB 5A SECT. 5: #1 Lawrence Cent. fends off host #11 Warren Cent., 21-14
October 27, 2012By E. Shawn Aylsworth of Hoosier Authority
By E. Shawn Aylsworth
INDIANAPOLIS – The weather wasn’t quite as horrid as most people were expecting Oct. 26 as Class 5A top-ranked Lawrence Central revisited the scene of their shocking 35-14 sectional-opening upset of Warren Central two years ago that propelled the Bears into their first state championship game.
This time around, however, the unbeaten Bears were the heavy favorites in a Sectional 5 semifinal battle on Indy’s far-eastside. Behind the throwing and running of senior quarterback Drake Christen (two touchdowns in the air, one on the ground), Lawrence Central stayed perfect with a 21-14 defense-flavored victory.
CHECK OUT VIDEO INTERVIEWS AND HIGHLIGHTS (TO COME) IN THE PLAYER TO THE RIGHT OF THE HOME PAGE, PLAUS CATCH THE ARCHIVED VIDEO STREAM OF THE GAME COURTESY OF OUR PARTNER, WHMB TV-40, BY CLICKING RIGHT HERE!!
The Bears took a 7-0 lead on their second possession, methodically driving 72 yards in 15 plays after an eight-yard sack on the first play by Warren senior defensive lineman Anthony Winbush backed the Bears up to their own 8-yard line.
Lawrence Central (11-0) chewed up 6:52 on the drive by utilizing several big Christen runs (a 19-yard right option keep on 3rd and long, an 11-yard jaunt around right end for another first down, 18 more yards around right end after a fake dive) plus a 14-yard run from senior wingback Isaiah Townsend to ultimately tally with 2:16 left in the first quarter.
The game’s first score came after Christen faked a hand-off right to senior RB Dashawn Wortham, then bootlegged briefly to his left and found senior wingback Darien Taylor on a three-yard strike in the back of the end zone.
Warren Central (5-6) had a golden chance to answer two possessions later after starting at their own 49. A 15-yard face mask penalty on the Bears and a 17-yard pass from senior QB Anthony Cooper-Taylor to senior wide receiver Krishawn Hogan on the next play moved the ball to the LC 19.
An offside penalty on the Bears later got the ball down just inside the 10, but the LC “D” stiffened and senior defensive back Quenten Turman intercepted a pass from Cooper-Taylor right at the goal line on third down to squelch the potential game-tying drive.
On the very next play from the LC 3, Christen took a shotgun snap in the end zone and rambled over left tackle for a huge gain. But 35 yards into the run, the ball squirted free and directly into the arms of trailing senior linebacker Cantrell Andrews, setting Warren up once again with excellent field position at the LC 49.
Time for the Bears defense to make a statement, and that they did by sacking Cooper-Taylor on third down to force what turned out to be an 11-yard punt. It looked like Christen was going to parlay that big stop into six points two plays later on a gorgeous bomb down the middle, but junior WR Kenny Jones dropped the pass.
That forced a short, flat punt by Christen, but Andrews couldn’t quite handle the short kick. Junior LB Jack Pounds recovered the muff, and the Bears were in business with their second takeaway at the Warren Central 38 with 3:46 left before halftime.
Christen (11 carries for 114 yards in the opening half) racked up 11 yards around right end, hit senior WB Trey White for 14 more on a pass to the left flat, then found White on a 15-yard scoring strike to the left at 1:04 on a corner route that made it 14-0 after freshman Nash Griffin’s second point-after kick.
Warren Central fans knew that their Warriors had spotted defending 5A state champion Carmel a 14-0 lead last week before rumbling back for a 31-24 road win in triple overtime. But to do it in back-to-back weeks in what is unquestionably the state’s toughest sectional would be asking a lot.
Especially against an undefeated Lawrence Central squad looking to atone for a 38-19 blowout loss two years ago in the 5A title game against Fishers.
MORE TO COME!!