Lawrence of Fairfield’s 42-12 victory over Bangor in last Friday night’s rematch of the 2011 Pine Tree Conference Class A football final displayed not only the Bulldogs’ strength, but also its depth in the offensive backfield.
Seven different players carried the ball at least once in the first quarter alone while coach John Hersom’s club built a 21-0 lead, and nine different ballcarriers led by Anthony Sementelli and Josh Doolan helped Lawrence amass 302 of its 345 total yards on the ground.
“We do have a lot of depth,” said Hersom, who used three halfbacks and three fullbacks in addition to senior quarterback Spencer Carey. “Of course, we have 20 seniors this year so a lot of these boys in our backfield have played quite a bit for us.”
Sementelli, who rushed for 95 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, appreciates the personal benefit he derives from Lawrence being able to attack opponents with multiple rushing threats.
“Just giving us a blow really helps,” he said. “Not one guy has to carry the load for everybody. We’ve got Josh Doolan, me, Xavier [Lewis], Spence carries the ball. We can really spread the ball around.”
Lewis, a junior wingback and wide receiver on offense who transferred to Lawrence from Bangor over the summer, added two touchdowns against his former team — one receiving and one rushing.
“That’s what’s so good about our team,” said Lewis, “is we have so many weapons that we can go boom, boom, boom with different guys and then make a big play.”
One potential issue for the Bulldogs is getting enough repetitions for all of the ballcarriers, particularly given that so far this season the starters have not played during the fourth period as the defending eastern Maine champions have outscored Edward Little of Auburn and Bangor by a combined 81-0 in the first three quarters of their two victories to date.
“Sometimes it’s a challenge to get all the plays covered during the week when we’re not keeping them out there too late,” said Hersom.
“I think they’re getting enough reps. One of the things I think the kids realize is that we’re trying to get the reps in practice much like a game scenario, so even in practice they’re getting game reps, we feel. Hopefully that’s going to continue.”
Sementelli, for one, believes the variety within the Lawrence offense hasn’t reached its peak heading into the Bulldogs’ Week 3 home game against 1-1 Oxford Hills of South Paris at Keyes Field.
“We’ve got weapons on the outside, too, it’s just that nobody’s seen them yet,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to that, but putting up these numbers with the offense we’re running right now is really good.”