Lawmen pile up points
For Mark Robinson’s Jonathan Law football team, Thursday night’s 60-27 victory over the Plainfield Panthers was one more step on the way towards a .500 season.
That record might seem unimposing, but for the Lawmen, who went 0-10 last year, a five-win season is an accomplishment worth being proud of.
“This team has come a long way, and this season has really started to bring the program back,” Robinson said. “It’s great for them to be able to win on their Senior Night, to walk out of here with their heads held high.”
The Lawmen (4-5) will travel across town to take on the Foran Lions (5-4) in a Thanksgiving matchup.
The game begins at 10:30.
The Lawmen rushed for a total of 488 yards on 50 carries.
Daron Britt led the squad in yardage, carrying the ball seven times for 88 yards, while Joe Ziebell had 11 carries for 81 yards.
Nick Kosa added nine carries for 73 yards, while Eli Woodbury carried the ball three times for 59 yards and Danny Ziebell added five carries for 51 yards.
Rounding out Law’s diverse running game was quarterback Timmy Maher, who kept the ball six times for a total of 81 yards on the ground.
Law’s seven rushing touchdowns were facilitated by their stellar offensive line, led by senior captain George Knoth and composed of juniors Sam McTighe, Alex Boyd, Jimmy Davenport, and Nick Casagrande, as well as sophomore Drew Carolan.
“I couldn’t be prouder of what [our offensive line] did tonight,” Robinson said. “We haven’t had the same line all season; someone’s always banged up, so we’re always swapping guys in and out, but they really showed up tonight.”
Law set the tone for the game early, taking just over two minutes to penetrate the end zone in the first quarter
After a few short carries by Britt and Joe Ziebell, Maher handed off on second-and-nine to Britt, who dodged a flurry of Panther defenders to run away with the 48-yard touchdown.
Mick Murray’s extra point kick was good, taking the score to 7-0 Law with 9:51 left in the quarter.
Plainfield (5-4) took a minute and a half to answer with a touchdown of its own, advancing to the Law 21 before Jordan Federer carried the ball along the right sideline for the score.
A failed kick allowed Law to hold onto a one-point lead, and the Lawmen soon put more distance between themselves and Plainfield.
Law employed a characteristically diverse running game, with Maher handing off to Britt and fellow seniors Kosa and Dan Ziebell for a series of carries, highlighted by 19- and 21-yard runs by Ziebell to bring Law to the Panther 10-yard line.
Maher kept the ball for a nine-yard carry, and finished the deal on second down with a pitch to Britt, who crossed the goal for the one-yard touchdown.
Murray kicked his second extra point of the game for a 14-6 lead.
The Panthers didn’t get very far on their next possession before Law senior Najee Smith intercepted a pass near the Lawmen’s 35.
Junior Joe Ziebell carried the ball for a few short runs, before Maher linked up with senior captain Timmy Speer for the 43-yard touchdown and a 21-6 advantage.
There were just over three minutes left to go in the first quarter, but the Lawmen weren’t done piling on the points.
Law’s defense kept the Panthers in their own territory until they were forced to punt, and Speer took the return back to midfield.
From first-and-10 at the Plainfield 40, Maher kept the ball on the keeper and made it all the way to the one-yard line. Maher kept the ball again for the one-yard touchdown, and Murray’s kick made it 28-6 with 32 seconds left in the quarter.
Plainfield took its time executing its drive in the second quarter, taking more than half the quarter to execute the score with 5:30 left in the half, and a faked kick resulted in a successful two-point conversion to narrow the gap to 28-14.
Law added another touchdown before the half ran out, again employing their diverse running game.
Joe Ziebell, Danny Ziebell, Kosa and Maher combined for 68 yards on eight carries, bringing the Lawmen all the way to the one-yard line before Joe Ziebell finished the job with a one-yard run into the end zone.
Speer intercepted a Steve Jankowski pass with 54 seconds left and the half expired with the Lawmen riding a comfortable 34-14 lead.
Plainfield opened the second half with a fourth-down, roughing-the-kicker penalty-aided drive that culminated in Federer’s 19-yard touchdown run, taking the score to 34-20 with 6:23 left in the quarter.
Law’s offense continued to be relentless, and the squad put together another sustained drive with Maher handing off to Britt, Kosa, and Danny Ziebell for a series of carries to the 28-yard line.
On first down, Maher switched it up by handing off to Joe Ziebell, who broke through the middle for a 28-yard touchdown run.
Murray’s kick was good, stretching the score to 41-20 with just under four left in the third.
The Lawmen added another touchdown, with Woodbury rushing the ball for a 17-yard carry before Maher linked up with junior Ryan Siddall for a 39-yard touchdown with 56 seconds left in the quarter. Plainfield answered nine seconds later when Federer returned the kickoff for a touchdown, and the third quarter closed with Law leading 47-27.
Plainville’s onside kick failed to make the 50-yard line, and following a 21-yard run by Kosa, the Lawmen opened up the final quarter poised to strike from the Plainfield 20.
Danny Ziebell ran for what would have been a touchdown on the first play of the quarter, but a penalty negated the touchdown and pushed the action back to the 30.
Undeterred, Maher handed off to Woodbury on second down for the 30-yard rush, taking the score to 54-27 just 17 seconds into the final quarter.
The Lawmen added their final touchdown with just over two minutes left to the game, when sophomore Tim Edson penetrated the line for an eight-yard touchdown.
Of his unusually diverse and rushing-focused offense, Robinson said:
“We run the option quite a bit. We feel like a spread offense definitely makes the defense work harder, and we like our opponents to have to worry about our entire offense, not just one or two guys.”
Thursday also marked a momentous occasion for one Lawman in particular. Speaking to his team after the game, Robinson revealed that Danny Ziebell had recently received his Congressional nomination to attend the United States Naval Academy next fall.
“It’s a wonderful day for Danny and for us,” Robinson said. “You try to teach them the game and teach them to be good football players, but when they come out of the experience as good people...That’s fantastic.”