Brighton High had a tough time in practice this week and an even tougher time with Greater Lawrence on Friday night.
Several Brighton offensive lineman and senior running back Ricardo Edwards were banged up heading into the 41-12 loss that was moved from White Stadium to Madison Park because of the rain. The Bengals, who moved the ball with ease in a 45-38 loss to Martha’s Vineyard last week, struggled to establish their run game against Greater Lawrence.
“We really had a poor week of practice and it showed in the field,” Brighton coach Randolph Abraham said. “Hopefully we’ll come together and put this behind us and play the kind of football we know we can play.”
Greater Lawrence coach Tony Sarkis said he made sure to focus on stopping Edwards after he saw that that the bruising running back scorched the Vineyard for a 90-yard kickoff return and a 45-yard TD run last week.
“We just wanted to make sure we kept their offense off the field and we grinded it out,” Sarkis said. “They have a lot of good athletes and they run the ball well. We wanted to make sure we kept them off the field and we accomplished that today.”
Edwards, who had 143 yards on nine carries last week, bruised his hand during practice this week and sprained his ankle during the second quarter on Friday night.
“And so he was playing timid the whole time,” Abraham said. “They brought everything on us, they stopped the run.”
The Bengals (1-2) struggled even more to stop Greater Lawrence’s ground game. Senior tailback Cristian Rivera scored three touchdowns for Greater Lawrence (3-1), including a a 25-yard TD to take a quick 7-0 lead.
“He’s one of the better running backs in the state,” Sarkis said. “That’s my opinion, and he showed it today.”
Greater Lawrence senior quarterback Marcus Ortiz ran in two touchdowns, including a 75-yard romp to go up 27-0 late in the first half.
Just before halftime, Brighton got on the board after a 34-yard TD pass from junior Jalen Apperwhite to senior wide receiver Damian Robinson. The duo hooked up again for a 40-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Brighton’s second TD pass came after Apperwhite threw his third interception of the night, which Jeremy Torres returned 43 yards to put Greater Lawrence up, 41-6.
Nevertheless, Apperwhite managed to keep his head up.
“We were getting killed out there,” Apperwhite said. “As the quarterback you gotta let the guys know to stay calm and stay in it. Damian and I connected on two touchdowns, we kept the team together, we’re starting to come together.
“The first two weeks we came into it thinking we'll do it; people were missing practice and stuff was happening. We finally see it’s time for us to wake up, we need to come together. And by me and my other teammates staying together and not yelling at each other, we managed to go out as brothers.”
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