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Lawrence guts out injury in Spellman’s loss to Christ the King

Dexter Lawrence walked to the bus with a bag of ice on his left shoulder. Cardinal Spellman football coach Dan Crane tried to get the senior running back to rest his sore shoulder during practice earlier in the week, but he refused.

“It will feel better probably four weeks after he finishes playing football,” Crane said. … “His attitude is, ‘No I’m not taking off.’”

Except, that is, with the ball in his hands.

Lawrence ran the kickoff on Spellman’s first possession back 73-yards for a touchdown and added a 13-yard reception for a score in the fourth quarter of the Pilots 38-19 loss to Christ the King in a CHSFL AA-A league game Saturday at Juniper Valley Park.

“I have a sprained shoulder,” Lawrence said. “Everything hurts, but I am going out there for my team.”

Spellman, which is still in search of its first win, didn’t have an answer for the Royals offensive duo of quarterback Terrel Hunt and running back Will Hunter. Hunt threw completed 3-of-4 passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 99 yards on four carries and a score. Running back Will Hunter carried the ball five times for 155 yards and two scores. He took the first play from scrimmage 83 yards for a touchdown.

“We should be able to make tackles,” Lawrence said. “It’s just mistakes. We are not in the right areas. We got work to do.”

The Pilots (0-4, 0-4 CHSFL AA-A) hung around with CK (1-4, 1-3) in the first half. Lawrence’s score make it 8-7. Ivan Belfon recovered a Hunter fumble on the Royals 25 early in the second quarter. Quarterback John Alba capped the ensuing drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Stephan Sanchez on fourth down to cut the Royals lead to 22-13 with six minutes left in the first half. Hunter answered with a 28-yard scoring run to help make it 30-13 and Spellman failed to score from the CK 14 with two seconds left on second down before the break.

Crane switched to an I-formation on the drive, hoping at the least to keep the ball out of Christ the King’s hands. A 36-yard run by Tony Ward and a CK penalty put Spellman inside the 40 with a chance to score, but the clock ran out.

“I was kind of a victim my original plan,” Crane said.

He is also considering reincorporating the team’s old Pro offensive sets after switching to a spread offense this season. His team has not executed the new plays as well as he has liked. Spellman, which is in a rebuilding season, has seen small improvements and is still hungry for their first win.

“We just came up a little short today,” Alba said. “We have to be better. We have three more games left. We have to step up.”

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