How about those Lawmen?
The Jonathan Law football team will be in a rather unique and unusual situation on Friday, Nov. 14, when the Lawmen play host to Lyman Hall of Wallingford on Senior Night.
Not since the 2007 season, when Law went 9-1 and just missed qualifying for the post-season, has the team won five consecutive games.
Coach Derrick Lewis’ Lawmen (4-4) are now a victory away from reaching that mark, after defeating Branford High, 24-21, on Mick Murray’s 35-yard field goal with 4:21 left in the fourth quarter in Milford on Nov. 7.
This win came on the tail end of a four-game stretch that also included victories over East Haven (38-8), Sheehan of Wallingford (35-34) and Guilford (28-27). Those triumphs have come with only a five-point margin between them.
“We can’t be the Lawmen unless we sweat a little bit,” Lewis said while laughing during the post-game interview after the win over Branford (2-6).
“Again, this is a step in the right direction. Now, hopefully, we’ll have to deal with our kids being a little under-satisfied.”
Deadlocked at 21-21 following Branford’s third and final touchdown, Law began its winning drive from its own 18-yard line at 7:20 of the final period.
Law’s defense had dug in, stopping a Hornets’ march on the Lawmen’s 12-yard line. On a first-and-10, Branford’s Carl Williams was swarmed upon, lost the ball, and Law’s Tucker Saley recovered it at the 18.
Aided by two 15-yard penalties called against Branford, Law moved the ball to the 13 and faced a fourth-and-four situation.
During the drive, Giovanni Marzullo, who gained 174 yards rushing on 27 carries, had a key 26-yard run that brought the ball from the Law 44 down to the Branford 30. The second of the two 15-yard penalties against Branford was tacked on after the carry.
Murray took the field having already kicked a 35-yard conversion following Law’s third touchdown (three penalties were assessed against Law leading up to the kick).
This 35-yarder hooked slightly to the left, but it had enough range and accuracy to make it through.
“I was a little worried in watching it,” Murray said. “I felt confident because I had kicked that conversion and made three attempts from around 40 yards in practice before the game.”
Marzullo’s 72-yard run on the first play of the second quarter, and Murray’s first of three successful PAT’s gave Law a 7-0 lead.
On its next series, Branford pulled even when starting quarterback Zach DeGoursey ran it in from 21 yards out on a keeper. When Dakota Carden split the uprights, the teams were even at 7-7.
Williams’ 26-yard run and another PAT by Carden gave the Hornets a 14-7 lead with 5:40 to play in the second quarter.
Behind the blocking of Drew Carolin, Brandon Chairaluce, Dylan Lucas, Brendan Ahern and Sean Rice, and using its Wing-T offense, Law then put together another scoring drive beginning at its own 32 following Branford’s kickoff.
Marzullo finished it off from seven yards out, scoring with 54 seconds left. A big run by German (136 yards), covering 16 yards had taken the ball from the Branford 36 down to the Hornets’ 20. Marzullo scored four plays later. Murray’s kick evened the score at 14-14.
Law took a 21-14 lead at 9:17 of the third when Dylan Vienneau tipped and intercepted a pass at midfield. He returned it all the way to the end zone and Murray’s third placement of the game gave the Lawmen a seven-point margin.
“Our team has grown through all the hard work,” Murray said. “And along with that, our confidence level has grown as well.”
After Lyman Hall (1-8), Law has remaining games at East Lyme (3-5) and its annual Thanksgiving Day game at Foran (4-5).