The Lawrence football team has a simple strategy: get the ball to its speedy playmakers.
It’s an easy game plan to implement when so many athletes on the field can turn a short run into a home run.
Christian Fredericks and Chris Collier took turns showcasing their second gears, with Fredericks scoring twice on runs over 50 yards and Collier scoring on a 62-yard gallop, carrying the Golden Tornadoes to a 49-7 win over host Roosevelt in a Nassau III game Saturday.
Lawrence had lost its previous four meetings with Roosevelt and had been eliminated by the Rough Riders in the playoffs the last two years.
“Our personnel is amazing,” said Collier, who rushed 12 times for 150 yards and three touchdowns. “We have speed all across the board. From left to right, even the linemen get up the field. Speed is definitely displayed on this team.”
The Golden Tornadoes improved to 2-0 by sticking to their effective ground game, and it was their persistence on fourth-and-1 on their first drive that set the tone.
At their own 47-yard line, Lawrence opted not to punt. Fredericks took the snap, faked a handoff to Collier and burst through the middle, breaking past the secondary and scoring from 53 yards. An extra point from David Reyes made the score 7-0.
Roosevelt’s ensuing drive ended prematurely when Carlos Duran intercepted Idris Carter and returned the ball to the Rough Riders’ 16-yard line. Three plays later, Collier punched it in from 7 yards for a 14-0 lead.
Duran’s interception, according to Collier, was the turning point.
“Once Carlos Duran got that pick, we were really amped up,” Collier said.
A 14-0 lead ballooned to 28-0 in the second quarter after Collier ran it in from 4 yards and Fredericks found Keaton Goldsby in the flat on a 2-yard touchdown pass.
Fredericks was electric, rushing six times for 112 yards and two touchdowns and completing 5 of 9 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown.
Roosevelt’s next drive was successful in putting points on the board. Carter completed a short pass to Amar Cline on fourth-and-5, and Cline sidestepped his defender before running the rest of the way for a touchdown. The 42-yard score and extra point from Wilfredo Perez cut Lawrence’s lead to 28-7.
With the game still within reach for Roosevelt (1-1), Lawrence came out in the third quarter with two home run plays.
Fredericks kept the ball on an option on the fifth play of the second half and sprinted into the end zone from 51 yards. On Lawrence’s next drive, Collier went untouched up the middle for a 62-yard touchdown and a 42-7 lead.
Fredericks praised the offensive line’s work throughout the game.
“I really can’t do it without the O-line,” he said. “The O-line sets it off.”
Collier agreed, mentioning the standout play of Jaevon Johnson, David Grayson, Elijah Washington and Justin Moya.
Behind them, it’s all about keeping with a simple strategy: get it to the guys who can run.
Said Fredericks: “We’re always going to be fast and physical.”