EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

October 27, 2013

Greater Lawrence stumbles in conference finale

WEST ANDOVER — A tough season for Greater Lawrence didn’t get any easier in yesterday’s final Commonwealth Conference match.

The Reggies watched an eight-point halftime deficit quickly turn into a much bigger hole as conference champion Northeast rolled to a 34-14 victory.

“It was (close) at the half, but we just made too many mistakes,” Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis said.”And that’s been our Achilles heel. We have to clean it up because you’re not going to beat good teams making mistakes.”

As has been the case most of the season, the Reggies (2-5) were unable to find any success moving the ball. On three first-quarter possessions, Greater Lawrence managed nine yards on 11 plays.

Early in the second period, a Golden Knight pass-interference penalty helped the Reggies to a 45-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 19-yard Yoel Batista reception on an Ellicen Pena pass. The touchdown pulled Greater Lawrence within two at 8-6 with 7 minutes left in the opening half.

But Northeast (7-0 overall, 4-0 conference) responded with a 30-yard Kevin Rosado scoring run with less than 2 minutes left for a 14-6 halftime advantage.

Despite running 30 plays before intermission, the Reggies managed only 59 yards, including 16 on nine rushing attempts.

That lack of an offensive identity has hampered Greater Lawrence all season.

“It’s very frustrating,” Sarkis said. “Very, very, very frustrating. I don’t know how long our defense was out there, but we put them in a corner. It was not very good.”

Northeast took control by scoring three consecutive touchdowns and opening a 34-6 advantage with 4:16 left in the game.

Greater Lawrence did have one last big play, scoring on a 55-yard strike from Pena to Jeremy Torres with 3:53 left.

The Reggies finished with 122 total yards, including only 7 yards on 16 rushes.

“I don’t think we have to change our focus,” said Sarkis, whose squad will find its consolation-game opponents today. “We just have to improve what we do. So, on offense we have to improve on running the ball a little better. We have to work on throwing the ball a little better. Our quarterback has to make better reads a little better.

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