Lawrence’s football team completed an interesting September last Saturday night with its third Nassau Conference III victory in four games — a 27-0 win at Division.
The Golden Tornadoes dusted off a difficult loss at home to Plainedge just a week earlier and scored at least four touchdowns for the fourth time in as many games to conclude the opening half of the schedule on a positive note. All the scoring came in the first half.
“We’re really talented and fast, but we need to prepare better,” Lawrence head coach Joe Martillotti said. “I think we overlooked Plainedge. It was one of those games that whichever team had the ball last was going to win.”
The performance of junior Christian Fredericks capped an impressive month for the first-year starting quarterback who’s done damage with his arm and legs. He’s rushed for 363 yards and four scores and has a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 9-to-0.
In his first varsity game at signal-caller, Fredericks was nearly flawless in a season-opening 42-10 win over Floral Park on Sept. 9. He went 4-for-5 passing, including a 40-yard touchdown toss to junior Norell Folawiyo, and carried nine times for 176 yards and two scores.
A week later, Fredericks sparked the Golden Tornadoes in a game they had circled since the schedule was unveiled — five months ago — with an early touchdown. His 53-yard scamper opened the scoring in Lawrence’s riveting 49-7 victory at Roosevelt. The Rough Riders, who joined Conference III prior to the 2015 campaign, had won each of the four previews meetings including back-to-back playoff affairs.
“Christian was focused all week and doesn’t want to lose another game,” Martillotti said. “He looked at the Plainedge game as a wake-up call. As well as he played that day there were a few throws he missed. It’s just some mechanical issues he’s working through. Being a running back or a receiver his whole life, he’s learning as a quarterback.”
Lawrence rushed for nearly 300 yards and six touchdowns, including three from senior tailback Chris Collier. He found the end zone in each of the first three quarters, from 7, 4 and 62 yards, respectively.
“The kids came fired up and ready to play,” Martillotti said. “We didn’t turn the ball over and we executed.”
Then against Plainedge, the Golden Tornadoes scored 20 points in the fourth quarter but the Red Devils got the last laugh with 29 seconds remaining on Mike Cuiffo’s fourth touchdown pass off the day to Brian Bornkamp from 11 yards out. They hooked up earlier from 11, 28 and 23 yards.
The winning drive covered 80 yards in just six plays and 35 seconds. Lawrence led 34-31 with 1:12 to go on Fredericks’ 36-yard touchdown pass to junior Jordan Alexander. It was the fifth passing TD for Fredericks, who racked up 333 yards.
Next up is a visit from Bethpage this Saturday at 3 p.m.
“They’re a tough team with solid fundamentals,” Martillotti said. “They rotate a lot of backs and love to control the clock. I’d like to see us score first and make them play catch-up.”