Football: Seniors step up for Laney Bucs in regular season finale (video highlights/photos/interviews)

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WILMINGTON — The Laney football team wasn’t as sharp as last time out, but the Bucs used its recipe for success with a good ground attack and stout defense en route to a 41-21 victory over Ashley at Holliday Stadium.

Playing in their final regular season home game, the Laney seniors shined in the effort. Imeek Watkins rushed for 250 yards and four touchdowns.  The Bucs’ defense had three takeaways and held Ashley to just 42 yards of total offense in the first half. Eli Boone took a 50 yard pick six passed the goal line midway through the third quarter. Cayman Czesak added an interception and Tyler Moore recovered a fumble.

Facing a third and 1 with no score in the opening period, Watkins went 33 yards into Ashley territory before sophomore quarterback Sherod Sidbury used a play action pass to classmate Jason Billingslea in the flat to get inside the five-yard line. Two plays later Watkins put in a three-yard score for a 7-0 Laney lead.

The Bucs recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Isaiah Fields put the Screaming Eagles on the board with a 50-yard fumble recovery to tie the score, 7-7, with 11:12 to play in the first half.

Senior Ryan Daborowski isn’t used to touching the football, but when the 6-foot, 2-inch, 235-pound defensive end fielded a squib kick on the change of possession, the bulldozer would not go down, rumbling to the Ashley 25-yard line. Penalties backed up the Laney offense, but Sidbury used a pair of long runs to get into the end zone. Facing a third and 31, Sidbury took a bootleg around the right edge to move the chains and scored on fourth down from 15 yards out to put the Bucs ahead for good.

Laney carried a 21-7 advantage into the break thanks to a 57-yard touchdown by Watkins. The Bucs shutout Ashley 21-0 in the third quarter after two more scores from Watkins and the defensive touchdown from Boone.

Sidbury hit four different receivers in the ball game, completing 6-of-11 pass for 71 yards. He also had 63 yards on the ground as Laney finished the regular season 4-2 in conference and 7-4 overall. The Bucs now look to clean up some things ahead of their first-round playoff match up on Friday, Nov. 18.

Screaming Eagles’ tight end Keigan Meyer never played football until joining the team midway through the season. The junior has made an impact since his debut and finished with two catches on the night, including a 31-yard reception from Jacob Reed to set up a 1-yard touchdown by Corey Whaley with 8:52 left in the game. Freddie Thames capped the scoring on a 2-yard score at the 4:49 mark.

Ashley finished the year 1-5 in the division and 3-7 overall.

Box score

Ashley 0-7-0-14=21

Laney 7-14-21-0=41

 

Scoring summary

First Quarter

Laney- Imeek Watkins, 3-yard run, (PAT) 00:07

Second Quarter

Ashley- Isiah Fields, 50-yard fumble recovery, (PAT, Corey Whaley) 11:12

Laney- Sherod Sidbury, 15-yard run, (PAT) 6:48

Laney- Imeek Watkins, 57-yard run, (PAT) 5:42

Third Quarter

Laney- Imeek Watkins, 15-yard run, (PAT) 6:27

Laney- Eli Boone, 55-yard interception run, (PAT) 5:29

Laney- Imeek Watkins, 38 yards, (PAT) 2:37

Fourth Quarter

Ashley- Corey Whaley, 1-yard run, 8:52

Ashley- Freddie Thames, 2-yard run, (2-point conversion) 4:49

 

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