EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 27, 2012

Lawrence breaks through for win

Sophomore Valerio throws for 275 and 3 TDs

By Hector Longo hlongo@eagletribune.com
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — LAWRENCE — All night long, Mike Yameen was forced to endure watching the ghosts of seasons past.

But this time around it didn’t hurt, sting or irritate. This time, it soothed.

After seven weeks of frustration, the Lancers watched the Dracut defense melt and give up huge chunks of yardage on 3rd-and-long — the bane of Lawrence’s football existence over past seasons.

Lawrence moved the chains on 8 of 13 third downs and 1 of 2 fourth-down situations, claiming its first victory of the year, 20-7, over the Middies.

“It was good to see. We made a million mistakes again,” said Yameen, whose Lancers were flagged 9 times for a whopping 105 yards in penalties on the night. “But we finally got the job done.”

Sophomore trigger man Nelson Valerio enjoyed a monster night, hitting 15 of 22 passes for 275 yards and all three TDs. Most of that damage was done with his 6-foot-1 senior book ends, George Urena and Franger Baez, who combined to catch nine balls for 181 yards.

“They’re nice. I mean outstanding,” said Valerio. “We were faster, bigger and stronger out there, and we took advantage of it. We thought we’d do well there, and we did.”

Get up, stay up: Keeping the focus through seven straight losses was a challenge.

“It’s been tough on them, tough on us,” said Yameen, who tended to some disciplinary issues last week.

The Lancers kept it together, though.

“Our coaches, our players, our family, we came to practice this week with our heads up,” said Valerio. “We’ll play for pride, respect, we’re not done yet.”

Yameen figures the first win might launch a mini-win avalanche.

“Now, we’re just looking for the winning divisional record,” he said. “We can go 3-2, we’re looking to win on Thanksgiving and make it a 4-game win streak to end the year.”

Lawrence 20, Dracut 7

Dracut (2-6, 1-1 MVC 2): 0 0 7 —  7

Lawrence (1-7, 1-2 MVC 2): 6 6 8 — 20

First Quarter

L — George Urena 13 pass from Nelson Valerio (rush failed) 7:44

Second Quarter

D — Jeff Breen 3 pass from Tyler Bassett (conversion kick) 4:38

L — George Urena 15 pass from Valerio (rush failed) 1:21

Third Quarter

L — John Roy 15 pass from Valerio (Valerio to Chris Pena pass) 3:58

INDIVIDUAL LAWRENCE LEADERS

RUSHING: Jeremiah Damiron 4-11, John Roy 1-0, Nelson Valerio 10-36, Chris Pena 2-12, Justin Flores 12-41

PASSING: Valerio 15-22-1, 275

RECEIVING: George Urena 6-141, Roy 3-40, Franger Baez 3-67, Pena 2-4, Damiron 1-23