Ground game, defense lifts Laney over West Brunswick

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The Laney defense held West Brunswick to just one scoring drive and used a healthy ground game to grab a 28-6 win on senior night at Holliday Stadium.

Imeek Watkins scored two touchdowns and rushed for 110 yards on 19 carries, including a 27-yard fourth quarter score to put the game in check. Trevon Greene also ran for 82 yards on 10 rushes and one trip to the end zone.

Laney's Jamius Becket carries the ball during Fridays game against West Brunswick. Photo by Hannah Leyva
Laney’s Jamius Becket carries the ball during Fridays game against West Brunswick. Photo by Hannah Leyva

“We had a lot of nicks and bruises headed into the bye week and came out sharp tonight,” said Laney Coach Aashad Yeoman. “It was great to be playing in front of our home crowd for just the third time all season. I thought we were well rested and our guys did a great job of executing.”

Both teams put points on the board on their first possession before defense took control of the game until a Trojans miscue late in the second quarter set up a two-yard touchdown run by Watkins.

Watkins took the opening kickoff to midfield and Laney used just five plays to go 54 yards, capped on a 34-yard run by Tim Gore to put the Bucs in front. Facing third and three, Gore stutter-stepped through the right side and reversed field for the opening score.

West Brunswick countered with a 12-play, 65-yard drive that lasted five minutes and a Tariq Thomas 13-yard touchdown tied the game seven-all with 4:50 to play in the opening frame.

“Having that bye week definitely helped us hone in on some things and get some things cleaned up heading into tonight,” Yeoman added. “I thought we got a good push up front, which allowed some of our guys to get some room to run the ball.”

Imeek Watkins. Photo by Joe Catenacci.
Imeek Watkins. Photo by Joe Catenacci.

Facing a fourth down late in the first half, a bad snap by the Trojans deep in their own territory allowed Sherod Sidbury to pick up a big tackle for loss and forced a turnover on downs to give Laney a golden opportunity to capitalize with good field position. Watkins answered the call two plays later to give the Bucs a 14-6 lead at the half until West Brunswick nearly evened the score as time expired in the second quarter, but a 46-yard hail Mary from Owen McDowell to Quinlyn Moore came up just short thanks to the efforts of Jamius Beckett.

Beckett played a key role at defensive back for Laney, with multiple pass breakups, while Saquad Yeoman and Ryan Daborowski each picked up one sack. Cedric Morrisey also had a late interception as the defensive tackle sniffed out a screen pass on the final offensive play of the game for West Brunswick.

The Trojans were held to four straight turnover on downs in the second half, with a 50-yard run by Bubba McCray serving as the only big play after the break.  McCray rushed for 157 yards on 24 carries for the Trojans, who fell to 2-4 in conference and 5-6 overall.

“They came out with a formation we hadn’t seen and they ran it quite a bit in the first half,” said Yeoman. “We needed time to adjust to it, but once we got to the sideline it was good to see the guys make the adjustment.”

Greene used a pair of runs in the third quarter, including a 33-yard trip past the goal line to make it 21-6 with 5:08 to play in the third quarter, and Watkins closed the scoring with 2:27 remaining in the game.

“Trevon did a heck of job making those reads in the option,” Yeoman said. “He struggled early with it, but did a great job of making the necessary changes during the course of the game.”

Laney moved to 3-2 in league play and 4-6 overall heading into their final regular season game at Ashley on Friday, Nov. 6.

Box score

W. Brunswick 6-0-0-0=6

Laney                     7-7-7-7=28

 

Scoring summary

First quarter

Laney- Tim Gore, 34-yard run, (PAT, Hayden Watkins) 9:56

West Brunswick- Tariq Thomas, 13-yard run, (missed PAT) 4:50

Second quarter

Laney- Imeek Watkins, 2-yard run, (PAT, Watkins) 1:13

Third quarter

Laney- Trevon Greene, 33-yard run, (PAT, Watkins) 5:08

Fourth quarter

Laney- Imeek Watkins, 27-yard run, (PAT, Watkins) 2:27