The Lawrence varsity football team will head back to the Nassau County Conference III championship game after steamrolling Valley Stream South by the final score of 62-7 in the semifinal Friday afternoon at Hofstra.
“We expect to be there,” Lawrence head coach Joe Martillotti said after the game. “We were there last year. We were there the year before. We’ve played in this game six out of the last seven years — that’s where we expect to be every year.”
The Golden Tornadoes' offense was virtually unstoppable, lighting up the scoreboard with 62 points. The defense put together a stingy effort, allowing only one touchdown in the dominating performance.
After forcing Valley Stream South to punt on the first drive of the game, the Lawrence offense got right to work on their first possession. A 27-yard completion to senior wide receiver Ed Robinson set up senior running back Tyler Fredericks to open up the scoring with his first rushing touchdown of the day to give the Golden Tornadoes an early 7-0 lead.
The Lawrence defense kept up the momentum with a three-and-out on the following Falcons possession. It didn’t take long for the offense to find the end zone again, as it took only two plays and 22 seconds for the Golden Tornadoes to march 80 yards downfield for another Fredericks rushing touchdown, this time for 28 yards to give Lawrence a 14-0 lead.
Down by 14 early, Valley Stream South needed a spark and got one on the ensuing kickoff with a 69-yard return from sophomore Tyler Gill. Senior Bryan Providence would cap off the Falcons only scoring drive of the game with a 7-yard rushing touchdown to cut Lawrence’s lead in half 14-7 with 2:50 left in the first quarter.
“I’m upset they scored,” Martillotti said. “It’s the first time our [starting] defense gave up a point all season.”
Tyler Fredericks would once again power the Lawrence offense on the following drive with three first down rushes and a 1-yard rushing touchdown to increase the Golden Tornadoes lead to 21-7 late in the first quarter.
Lawrence’s offensive assault would carry over into the second quarter, as the Golden Tornadoes scored on their first possession of the quarter despite starting on their own 3-yard line. After catching key 46-yard and 25-yard completions earlier in the drive, Robinson hauled in a 1-yard touchdown reception from senior Quarterback Joe Capobianco to add to Lawrence’s lead 27-7.
An interception by senior Raquan Grandy gave Lawrence the ball back at their own 47-yard line with 4:49 left in the half, but the Golden Tornadoes would give the ball right back to Valley Stream South, as junior Jesse Blouin picked off a Tyler Frederick pass deep in Falcon territory.
Valley Stream South took over at their own 5-yard line after the interception, but the Lawrence defense forced a three-and-out and allowed the offense to get the ball back with 1:53 remaining in the half.
On the first play of the drive, Capobianco threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Fredericks to give Lawrence a 34-7 lead which they would take into the half.
Lawrence came out of the half strong, scoring on the opening drive of the third quarter, as Robinson reeled in his second touchdown reception of the day to make it 41-7 with 10:31 to go in the third.
A fumble recovery by sophomore Mike Spinelli would give the ball right back to Lawrence and the Golden Tornadoes would capitalize off the turnover with a 17-yard catch and run from Jordan Fredericks to make it 48-7.
A struggling Valley Stream South offense would take the field and once again turn the ball over with an interception to give Lawrence the ball on the Falcon 38-yard line.
Once again, the Golden Tornadoes took advantage of the turnover, as Capobianco threw a 36-yard touchdown pass, his fifth of the game, to Robinson to add to their lead 55-7 with 5:01 left in the third quarter.
Lawrence would add another score midway through the fourth quarter on 15-yard touchdown run from sophomore quarterback Sean Moran to bring the score to 62-7 with 7:18 left in the game.
The score would remain that way for the reminder of the game, as Lawrence picked up the victory and advanced to the county championship game.
Lawrence will now play the winner of the other semifinal game between Glen Cove and Plainedge next Friday at 4 p.m. for the Nassau County Conference III title at Hofstra.
“We’re going to do what we do,” Martillotti said. “It doesn’t matter who's there. ... We scored 63 points on one team and 62 on the other when we played them both, so either way I’m sure we will find a way to score.
“They’re both good teams and we’re the opponent," Martillotti added, "but, honestly, we want to play Sayville in two weeks in the Long Island championship because we developed a bad taste in our mouth last year.”