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Brennan guides St. Stan over Lawrence Co.

MONTICELLO — Junior quarterback Bo Brennan threw for threetouchdowns and ran for another as reigning 4A state champion St.Stanislaus defeated Lawrence County 30-21 in first-round playofffootball action Friday night. Brennan completed 12 of 23 passes for238 yards, and rushed for 61 more as the Rock-a-Chaws took a bigfirst step toward defending their state title.

With the win, St. Stanislaus, coached by Forrest Williams, improvedto 8-3 on the season. Lawrence County, under seventh-year headcoach Mike Davis, finished the season at 6-6.

“We didn’t play an awful game,” Davis said, “but we didn’t makeenough plays to beat a team of that caliber. It was a game wecertainly had a chance to win but St. Stanislaus deserves a lot ofcredit. Time after time, when they needed it, they came up with abig play.”

Leading just 23-21 in the fourth quarter, Brennan engineered a79-yard, 12-play drive that sealed the win for the Rocks. Facingfourth-and-16 at the LCHS 27-yard line, Brennan hit Kollin Cannonfor 27 yards and a touchdown.

“That was an awfully big play for them,” Davis said. “If we hadstopped them there, we certainly felt like we had a good chance tocome back and win the game. We had it covered pretty well, but theymade the play.”

Cannon was also St. Stan’s rushing leader, carrying 13 times for124 yards. The Rocks outgained Lawrence County 426-214 in totaloffense.

St. Stan grabbed a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Caleb Kergosienkicked a 28-yard field goal midway through the period. Late in thequarter, Grant Thompson went 73 yards for a score on a widereceiver screen.

Early in the second quarter, Lawrence County joined the battle, assophomore quarterback Nicholas McDonald sprinted 61 yards for atouchdown. In the waning seconds of the half, however, St. Stan gotthat touchdown back on an 8-yard pass from Brennan to Bryce Rogers.It was 17-7 at the intermission.

With 2:20 remaining in the third quarter, Lawrence County closedthe gap to 17-14 on a 3-yard run by McDonald. The score was set upby a 31-yard pass from McDonald to Justin Barnes, which gave theCougars a first down at the St. Stan 3.

With the momentum seemingly on Lawrence County’s side, thedefending champs responded with authority. Cannon ripped off a51-yard run that set up Brennan’s 11-yard scoring jaunt. That madeit 23-14, as the extra point was missed.

LCHS answered again and immediately as Robert Tremaine Brown tookthe ensuing kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown on the final play ofthe third quarter. St. Stan led 23-21. That’s when Brennan and St.Stan put together the drive and play of the night to clinch thewin.

McDonald rushed 13 times for 100 yards to lead LCHS. He and LaQuanHilliard combined to complete 4 of 10 passes for 61 yards. The twoteams combined for a whopping 20 penalties, for a total of 170yards.

“It’s always sad to see a season end,” Davis said, “but I’m proudof the body of work these kids put together this year. We wereclose to winning three of the games we lost, but, on the otherhand, we could have easily lost a couple that we won.

“Considering the quality of the non-division schedule we played,and the injury adversity we faced, I thought our kids did a goodjob. These underclassmen will be right back in here working nextweek.”