EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 6, 2012

Strong effort by Valerio not enough for Lawrence

LAWRENCE — Despite the team’s first rushing touchdown of the season and a breakout game from quarterback Nelson Valerio, Lawrence remained winless last night with a 42-21 loss to Lowell.

The Lancers (0-5) fell behind 21-0 in the first half, but closed the deficit to 14 with a third-quarter rally that fell short.

“We’ve been doing that,” Lawrence coach Mike Yameen said. “We fell behind against Chelmsford 21-2 but came back and made a game of it (in a 36-20 loss in Week 3). Lowell’s a good team, but we’re still making way too many mistakes ... and we’re not finishing drives on offense. We’re not going to beat teams unless we finish up.”

Making his mark: Leading the second-half charge was Valerio in just his third start of his career. The sophomore completed 16 of his 29 attempts for 314 yards and a pair of scoring passes. A 12-yard toss to Chris Pena got the Lancers on the board midway through the third and a 21-yard touchdown throw to George Urena in the fourth wrapped up the night’s scoring.

Finding the end zone: Justin Flores, who did not have a carry in the first half, made the most of his five attempts. The senior fullback finished with 35 yards on five carries, including a 6-yard touchdown which was the team’s first rushing score of the year.

“That was good,” Yameen said of the score that cut Lowell’s lead to 28-14 with 15 seconds left in the third. “It gave us some momentum. But we have to put together a 44-minute game. It’s frustrating. And the kids are frustrated, but we just have to keep working and get better.”

Walking the tightrope: Urena hauled in five of Valerio’s completions, but none prettier than the 28-yarder he hauled in over his shoulder while staying in bounds on the right sideline. Franger Baez, who also had five receptions, combined with Urena for 236 yards.

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