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Lawrence piling up some big numbers

September 21, 2012
EDGAR?KELLEY IN?THE?BOX , The Inter-Mountain

If any football fan throughout the area hasn't had the chance to see Elkins High School's potent rushing attack this season, they're missing out on something special.

Through four games this season, the Tigers are averaging 444 yards per game on the ground. Last week Elkins piled up 592 yards rushing in its 63-21 win over Preston.

Last Friday's yardage tied the school's old rushing mark for a single game, which was set against Buckhannon-Upshur in the final game of the 2007 season.

Although the Tigers' Single Wing offensive attack features several players that could have career games on any given night, one player in particular has been "lights out" for EHS.

Senior running back L.J. Lawrence has amassed more yards in four games than many good backs do over the span of an entire season.

Lawrence has sprinted up and down the football field to the tune of 819 yards and nine touchdowns this season. At that pace he's on track to go well over 2,000 yards for the year.

"L.J. is a heck of a talent and we're real happy he moved here," Elkins coach Greg Hott said. "He has that explosiveness that sets him apart from others."

At the start of preseason practice, Lawrence wasn't even part of the Tigers' plans. That because at the time, nobody associated with the program even knew who he was.

"Coach Roy Simms came to us one day during the first week of practice and told us that L.J. had just moved to town and wanted to play football," Hott recalled. "He asked us if we wanted to meet him and a little bit later he brought him back to the field.

"After he left the meeting with us, he told coach Simms that he would like to play for us - the rest is history."

Lawrence sat out last season while attending school in the Pittsburgh area. He did, however, play on the gridiron as a sophomore.

Hott has been nothing but pleased with the way Lawrence has adjusted to his new team.

"He's a real likeable kid," Hott said. "He's a very good teammate and he's been a pleasure to coach. He goes out and does his job every game - he's an ideal player."

For anyone that hasn't caught a glimpse of Lawrence racing up and down the field, you'll have to travel to Fairmont if you want a chance to do it tonight.

If traveling to see the Tigers is an issue, not to worry, because the Elkins will be home for three straight weeks after tonight's matchup at East-West Stadium.

The Tigers will entertain Class AAA, No. 6 Bridgeport on Sept. 28, before playing host to rival Philip Barbour on Oct. 4 and Wheeling Park on Oct. 12.



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