Collins Tigers destroy Lawrence County
MONTICELLO-The Collins Tigers had their way with the Lawrence County High Cougars Friday night, pounding the Cougars 38-0 on a rain-soaked evening at Lawrence County High School.
Junior quarterback M.J. McLauren threw for 251 yards and 4 touchdowns, and was backed up by a big, physical Collins defense that allowed Lawrence County just 5 first downs.
With the win, Collins, under second-year coach Ryan Earnest, improved to 3-2 on season. Lawrence County, under first-year coach Herbert Davis, fell to 3-2.
“Collins did a good job,” Davis said, “and we didn’t. We’ve had a little bit of success in the early season, but this game shows how far we have to go, if we want to compete at all with the teams in our division.”
Neither team could run the football, but McLaurin’s elusiveness and accuracy, combined with tall, athletic receivers proved too much for the Cougars. Two of McLaurin’s 4 touchdown passes came on plays where LCHS defenders were in perfect position, only to be out-jumped and out-wrestled for the football by bigger receivers.
Meanwhile, Lawrence County freshman quarterback, who enjoyed a stellar early season for the Cougars, left the game bloodied and battered in the fourth quarter. Davis completed just 3 of 13 passes. He was sacked 3 times, and knocked to the ground on almost every pass attempt.
Collins rolled to a 28-0 halftime lead. On the Tigers’ second possession, a busted coverage in the LCHS secondary allowed Calvin Keys to get loose for a 63-yard touchdown pass, McLaurin’s first scoring toss of the night. On Collins’ next possession, Timothy Durr ran 4 yards and a score. Two-point conversions after both touchdowns netted the Tigers a 16-0 lead after one quarter.
The Lawrence County defense gave it a good fight after that, holding the Tigers scoreless on their next 4 possessions. Gabraun Smith intercepted a McLaurin pass, Quitten Brown recovered a fumble, and the Cougars forced 2 punts.
Meanwhile, the LCHS offense was really struggling. Davis was intercepted twice in the first half, and Will Jackson punted 5 times before intermission. The Cougars picked up just 2 first downs in the first half.
With 1:53 left in the first half, McLaurin threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Keys. That made it a 22-0 game.
After a quick three-and-out by the Cougars, Jackson punted for the fifth time. His first four punts averaged 50 yards, and none were returned. His fifth, however, was returned into LCHS territory by Keys. Two plays later, with just 14 seconds left, McLaurin connected with John McInnis for 35 yards and a touchdown. It was 28-0 at the half.
Early in the second half, M.J. McLaurin threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Dorrean McLaurin. Again, McLaurin was well covered, but ripped the football away from Lawrence County defenders.
The final score of the night was a safety. The Cougars lost 37 yards and 2 points on an errant shotgun snap that was recovered by the Cougars in their own end zone. Another high snap early in the game cost Lawrence County 15 yards. The two errant snaps gave the Cougars a dubious negative-two yards of rushing for the game.
In reality, LCHS rushed for a positive 50 yards, with T-Tez Cole gaining 49 yards on 13 carries. Timothy Durr gained 38 yards on 12 carries for the Tigers, who gained just 49 yards on the ground.
Keys and McInnis each caught 4 passes for Collins. Tony Maye had 2 grabs for the Cougars. Linebacker Cory Shorts spearheaded the Collins defense.
Lawrence County will host Mendenhall this Friday.