ANDOVER – Yesterday afternoon’s first half proved a bad news, good news situation for Greater Lawrence.
The Reggies couldn’t have played any worse than it did the opening 20 minutes but, despite the lack of inertia, they trailed by only six points.
Then it took Isaiah Roman a mere 13 seconds to ignite the Greater Lawrence sideline.
The junior’s 65-yard return of the second-half kickoff, however, failed to spark a complete comeback as the Reggies dropped a 22-12 non-conference decision to visiting Manchester Essex.
Greater Lawrence, which gained 19 yards on 18 first-half plays, didn’t pick up a first down until its 25th play with 1:09 left in the third quarter. The Reggies finished with only three first downs — each occurring on their only scoring drive — and a paltry 64 yards of total offense on 35 plays. The unenthusiastic performance left the Reggies’ coach stunned.
“That’s one of the main things we’re trying to get across,” said Tony Sarkis, whose squad scored 52 points while splitting their first two games. “You can’t play unemotional football. You’re never going to get there that way, and that’s the way we played today.
“The second half we picked up slightly, but we didn’t get to the intensity we needed to. It was horrible. Offensively, we didn’t come out to play and I don’t know what to say about that.”
Manchester Essex (1-1) opened quickly, going 75 yards on the opening possession for the six-point advantage it maintained the remainder of the half. That scoring drive lasted one second shy of 4 minutes, the same amount of time Greater Lawrence consumed on its first three possessions combined.
But despite the offensive woes, Greater Lawrence hung tough with a defense that had four tackles for losses and forced Hornet quarterback Craig Carter to throw incomplete on 20 of his 29 attempts. Angel Martin had an interception that set up the Reggies’ only scoring drive.