Sectional Championships took place this week across all conferences, and there was no shortage of anticipation for many of these games. One of the more highly anticipated games coming into the weekend was 6A crosstown rivals, Lawrence North Wildcats taking on the Lawrence Central Bears. Following an astonishing upset in a game over Warren Central last week, the Bears came into this week looking for revenge once again after falling short to Lawrence North in their last meeting, 20-6. As for Lawrence North, they recently came off a dominating 41-21 win against North Central last week and hope to keep the ball rolling with another win over the LC Bears.
After a slow start to the game with multiple drives ending in a punt, Lawrence Central was finally able to move the ball downfield after a set of costly penalties against Lawrence North’s defense. The drive stalled out inside the 10 when the Wildcats defense stuffed a QB sneak from sophomore quarterback Bryson Luter. The momentum seemed to be in Lawrence North’s favor, but on the first play of the drive, the Wildcats fumbled inside the 10 leaving Lawrence Central with a more than desirable field position. Lawrence Central’s offense was stopped in their tracks once again and sent kicker, Jack Bilyeu, out for a field goal. In an amazing effort, Lawrence North blocked the field goal resulting in junior Samirion Ford returning it the length of the field into the end zone for the first points of the night. LCHS answered with their own points at the end of the quarter on a deep throw to speedy wide receiver Ahmaad Duff.
Lawrence North opened up the second quarter with a touchdown run by running back, Ali Richardson regaining the lead and making it 14-7. The action gridlocked for most of the second quarter until a set of big defensive plays made first by Lawrence Central linebacker Mataio Russell with a sack deep in Lawrence North’s territory to force a punt. This was followed by a driving LCHS offense throwing a pick inside Lawrence North’s territory. With under 20 seconds remaining in the half, in undoubtedly the best play of the game, Omar Cooper caught the ball by leaping above two LCHS defenders before landing in the end zone resembling a play belonging on Randy Moss’s “Mossed” segment. Lawrence North went into halftime up 20-7.
With the first drive of the second half, Lawrence North expand their lead by going the length of the field and scoring off a short run. After a 2-point conversion, LNHS extended their lead to three scores. With the following drive, the Bears manage to keep themselves in the game with a screen pass to Ahmaad Duff for his second touchdown of the night. The spark continued to light for Lawrence Central when Lawrence North fumbled once again inside the 20. Mataio Russell recovered the football and put the Bears in the red zone. The Wildcats managed to push Lawrence Central back to a 4th and goal at the 24-yard line. LCHS QB Bryson Luter scrambled on a broken play and managed to gain 23 of the 24 yards needed resulting in a turnover on downs.
Lawrence Central attempted to set up a comeback in the fourth quarter by throwing a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with just about 3 minutes left in the game. Lawrence North received the ball back with minimal time on the clock and up by 8, and was able to ride the clock out picking up a few first downs to end the game becoming Sectional 7 Champions! Final score: 28-20.