Lawson knew it would have strength in numbers Saturday against Summit Christian Academy. And those numbers proved overpowering.
Summit Christian has a small roster with many two-way players, and by the second half Lawson had worn them down enough to take control and pull away to a 35-19 victory in a Missouri Class 2 football quarterfinal at Lawson.
“We have a lot of guys up front on offense who don’t have to play on defense,” Lawson coach Todd Dunn said. “We thought we had an advantage there.”
Lawson used that advantage to overpower Summit Christian with a multifaceted rushing attack that had three ball carriers rushing for more than 70 yards. The Cardinals’ defense, meanwhile, contained a Summit Christian offense that had been averaging more than 250 rushing yards and 40 points a game to 136 yards on the ground.
“In the second half we wanted to establish the run and throw the ball when we needed to,” said Lawson running back Adrean Eskew, who rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns. “The run did its job, so whenever we needed to pass it we did.”
Lawson, 11-2, took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and opened up a 28-13 lead with a nine-play, 68-yard drive capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Colton Williams.
Summit Christian, 11-2, responded with an 18-play possession that took up the rest of the third quarter and went into the fourth. The Eagles got to the Lawson 13, but they turned it over on downs when quarterback Sam Huckabee’s pass to Dan Clarke slipped through Clarke’s fingers in the end zone.
Lawson took over from there and gashed large chunks of yardage on nine plays, the last one an 11-yard touchdown run by Eskew for his second score and a 35-13 Lawson lead with 6 minutes to play.
“They were probably the best team we played all year,” said Huckabee, who threw for 193 yards and rushed for 65 yards and two touchdowns. “They stuck to their game plan and they just took it right to us.”
The loss snapped an 11-game win streak by Summit Christian, which reached the quarterfinals for the first time in the program’s five-year history.