Eastern Tech rides Pearce's arm past Wildecats, 27-20 QB accounts for 4 TDs as Mavericks move on to Class 3A semifinals

Class 3A football

November 14, 1998|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

With four state championships to its credit in the 1990s, Wilde Lake might be one of the area's most dominant programs -- but the present belongs to Eastern Tech.

The No. 2-ranked Mavericks derailed Wilde Lake's pursuit of another state title, beating the fourth-ranked and defending Class 3A champs, 27-20, in a quarterfinal game at Kenwood last night.

The Mavericks (11-0) advanced to the state semifinals, where they will play sixth-ranked C. Milton Wright next weekend.

Quarterback Scott Pearce lofted a 38-yard touchdown pass to Steve Lawston with 9: 18 remaining for the final margin. Anthony Lawston sealed it with an interception with 1: 37 left.

Pearce, thought by some to be the weak link for the Mavericks, came through with an impressive performance, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for two more.

"All Scott Pearce does is win football games," said Eastern Tech coach Nick Arminio. "He makes the big plays when he has to make them."

Pearce, a 6-foot-3 junior, completed 11 of 20 passes for 198 yards and the two scores, both to Steve Lawston, who hauled in four passes for 113 yards.

Wilde Lake (9-2) owned a 20-13 advantage after a 6-yard run by Danny Bayron (54 yards) with 9: 41 remaining in the third quarter.

The Mavericks responded with a 12-play, 64-yard drive, highlighted by a 13-yard completion on fourth down from Pearce to Anthony Lawston. Pearce battled his way into the end zone from 2 yards out, bringing Eastern Tech to 20-19 with 4: 58 left in the third.

On Eastern Tech's next drive, Pearce came up with an 8-yard run on third down. Facing second-and-10 from the 38, he threw a perfect fade to Steve Lawston down the left sidelines for the touchdown. Pearce hooked up with Anthony Lawston for the two-point conversion.

"I just do whatever is needed for us to win," said Pearce. "The whole goal for us is to make it to the state championship."

Said Wilde Lake coach Doug Duvall: "They threw deep and we couldn't stop them. He [Pearce] was the key, and the receivers made some great catches."

The Mavericks went right after the defending champs. On the game's second play, Pearce found Steve Lawston streaking down the left sideline, and he cut upfield for a 64-yard touchdown.

Wilde Lake responded by establishing its running attack in a 12-play, 61-yard drive, capped by a 3-yard smash by Bayron. He and Jimmy Levins had all but 12 yards during the drive.

Eastern Tech showed its running game in the form of Ray Jones (164 yards) as it went 74 yards in 11 plays on the next possession to regain the lead at 13-7.

Jones had 38 yards in the drive, including a 12-yard run on a third-and-8. Pearce capped the drive, scoring on a 9-yard quarterback sneak up the middle behind his line.

The Wildecats regained the lead at 14-13 on a 42-yard pass from Seth Smith to Kye Snell with 19 seconds remaining, completing a four-play, 81-yard drive.

Pub Date: 11/14/98

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