October 10, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME OF THE WEEK: Lawrence fighting for playoff spot

By Travis Lazarczyk tlazarczyk@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

For a game between two football teams that have never played each other, there's a lot at stake in tonight's Class B game between Westbook and Lawrence at Keyes Field.


Westbrook at Lawrence
: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Keyes Field, Fairfield

Lawrence (2-3) is fighting for a playoff spot in the Pine Tree Conference Class B division. Westbrook (3-2) is trying to keep pace with Kennebunk and Marshwood in Western Class B.

"It will be a challenge, but we've always felt our kids will prepare hard and get ready for the next challenge," Lawrence head coach John Hersom said. "We certainly haven't seen anything to indicate our guys won't be ready this week."

Added Westbrook head coach Jeff Guerette: "It's exciting because we're playing somebody different. We haven't had a problem holding the kids attention this week."

The Blue Blazes offense goes through halfback Collin Joyce. A senior, Joyce has nine touchdowns, 60 percent of Westbrook's touchdown output for the season. In last week's 44-22 win over Falmouth, Joyce ran for three touchdowns and also caught a touchdown pass.

"He's a very good athlete. The chances are pretty good at some point in the game, he's going to spring a good play," Guerette said.

Like Lawrence, Westbrook's offense is built around the wing-T formation, a system much different than the spread offenses Lawrence has faced in recent weeks.

"We know that they're well-coached. They do a lot of the same things we do offensively," Hersom said. "We'll have to be ready for that style of offense. It's a big change from what we've been doing the last three or four weeks, playing more of the spread formations."

Hersom feels the Bulldogs showed improvement in recent losses, offensively against Cony on Sept. 27, and defensively last week at Hampden.

"We did make some positive improvements this past week in our secondary against Hampden. They're throwing attack is pretty versatile. It's pretty wide open. With three interceptions, we felt that was a big improvement for us," Hersom said. "Offensively, we felt at Cony we did a nice job moving the ball and putting points on the board. We're still working to get more diverse and become more balanced and improve on our execution."

Senior running back Ethan Powers leads the Lawrence offense. Beau Grenier broke his left hand in the Cony game and was unable to carry the ball last week at Hampden. To take the pressure off of Powers, younger players must step up, Hersom said.

Lawrence quarterback James Leathers continued to improve in the passing game, throwing a 40-yard touchdown pass to Seth Powers last week.

"For them, the totality of their parts is bigger than the individuals," Guerette said.

Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242



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