The Lawrence High School football team is back in the Class A state title game for the first time since 2007, and coaches wasted little time beginning preparations for the Saturday showdown with Cheverus.

Coach John Hersom and staff spent much of Sunday watching film on Cheverus.

The teams, who will meet at Fitzpatrick Stadium at a time to be determined this morning, provided each other film from six different games this season.

“We went to Cheverus on Saturday and exchanged film with them after their game,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “We’re doing our work (Sunday night). We wanted to get a feel for what we want to do against them.”

Coaches typically provide film of their most recent two games.

However, Hersom said he and Cheverus coach John Wolfgram agreed to swap any six games from the season.

“(Sunday) was a day that you accumulate data,” said Wolfgram, whose Stags (10-0) are the defending Class A state champs. “We have to find out some things about them before we get going. We know it’s going to be a tough contest for us.”

Lawrence asked for and received copies of Cheverus’ playoff games, as well as ones against Scarborough and Portland from the regular season.

“We mutually agreed to ask for six games,” Hersom said. “We were comparing the games and teams Cheverus played against. We were considering opponents that were similar in style. Thornton Academy and Scarborough, we thought they were somewhat similar to what we do. We also asked for the Portland tape because we think Portland is somewhat similar. It’s a little bit of a guessing game to determine what kind of tapes we’d be able to get.”

So, what preparations do the Bulldogs (10-0) begin with?

“We start out with the defense,” Hersom said. “We want to get ready for the defensive stuff for (today). We’ll break down formations that Cheverus likes to run and get our defense aligned. We’ll start that right away.”

Added senior running back Shaun Carroll, Jr.: “We’re pretty pumped. We can’t wait to get going.”

The Bulldogs will get into their offense Tuesday.

“Tuesday is a work day,” he said. “The game plan is in place and it’s a long, grueling practice. It’s more for the offense, but we hit two of our special teams stuff. We practice for two, two and a half hours. The last 30 minutes we spend on defense. Wednesday will be an emphasis on defense.

“Thursday will be different. Thursday will be game situations. We’ll put the offense and defense into different game scenarios and work from that. For example, the offense will work on moving into the red zone. We’ll run the plays that we’ll chose to have. We’ll probably have four or five running plays and three or four pass plays. We do quite a bit of prep work.”

* * *

The state championship teams will learn this morning when they will play Saturday. The games will be played at 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Hersom said it doesn’t matter when his team will take the field, but acknowledged a 6 p.m. game would make for a long day.

“It will be a weight of our minds,” he said. “I don’t think it matters. The last few times we’ve gone down we’ve played at 11. That’s fine with us. The 6 game means you are waiting around all day. That might be nerve-racking. But we’ll see how it shakes down (today).”

Added Carroll: “I honestly want to play at night. We’re used to that and we play better at night.”

* * *

Hersom said the Bulldogs are healthy.

Carroll is recovered from a groin injury and is as healthy as he’s been all season.

“I feel great,” he said.

Furthermore, defensive end Bryant Wade (ankle) is progressing and could play on both sides of the ball Saturday. Linebacker Josh Doolan, who’s been sidelined with a hamstring injury, could also play Saturday.

“We’ve been working Josh back in there a little bit,” Hersom said. “Bryant seemed strong Friday night. We’ll give him another week, and he’ll be able to play both ways.”

Wolfgram said the Stags are healthy as well.

“We’re pretty good,” he said. “Everybody gets knicked up, but we’re pretty good.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


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