WINSLOW — When the Lawrence High School football team took the ball on its own 20 with 1:14 to play at Winslow’s Poulin Field, Zack Nickerson didn’t think the game would rest on his right leg.

“I thought we would punch it in,” Nickerson said.

The Bulldogs came close, but when the drive reached the Winslow 18 with 6.3 seconds left, they needed Nickerson to finish the drive. Nickerson calmly booted a 35-yard field goal as time expired, lifting Lawrence to the come-from-behind 17-14 win over the rival Black Raiders in a non-conference game.

“We practice for it every single week, so I just went out there and gave it my all,” Nickerson said.

Lawrence improved to 2-3 with the win, while Winslow is now 3-2.

Lawrence coach John Hersom noted that Nickerson made a field goal in last season’s 24-14 win over Winslow. The winning kick was down the middle, with distance to spare.

“(Nickerson) had a few clutch ones for us last year for us, too. We worked on it in practice. We kind of reminded everyone, these points are important to make. He’s pretty calm under those circumstances,” Hersom said.

Nickerson’s field goal capped a comeback that saw the Bulldogs rally from a 14-0 deficit at the start of the fourth quarter. Kyle Carpenter’s 16-yard touchdown run with 2:43 to go, combined with a Nickerson extra point, tied the game at 14-14. When Winslow’s ensuing drive stalled at midfield, the Black Raiders punted, setting up the Bulldogs for the final drive at their own 20.

A pair of 16-yard completions from Dylan Coombs to Carpenter and Alex Higgins got the Bulldogs to the Winslow 48. On second and 10, a Winslow pass interference penalty moved Lawrence to the Black Raider 33. A 15-yard shovel pass to Carpenter got the Bulldogs to the 18, and after an incompletion on first down, Hersom called a timeout and sent Nickerson out for the field goal try.

“We just kept encouraging each other, and it turned out good,” Nickerson said.

After a scoreless first half, Winslow appeared to take total control of the game in the third. The Black Raiders took the opening drive of the third 63 yards, scoring when Nate Newgard caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Colby Pomeroy for a 7-0 with 9:21 left in the quarter.

Winslow doubled its lead less than two minutes later, when Alex Demers returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead. When Cody Ivey recovered a Lawrence fumble at the Winslow 40 on the Bulldogs next possession, the Black Raiders were a drive away from turning the game into a blowout. The drive stalled at the Lawrence 15, though, and that gave the Bulldogs life.

“We had some momentum there and a chance to go up 21-0 and we didn’t do it. We kind of gave them a spark there,” Winslow coach Mike Siviski said.

“That might have been something that gave us some inspiration on offense. We’re getting a few chances here. Lets’ try to take advantage of them,” Hersom said. “I would say we were bending most of the game, but we just didn’t give up the big chunks on the ground.”

Lawrence went 85 yards in 15 plays, scoring on a 3-yard Carpenter run with 9:21 left in the game. The Bulldogs converted three third downs on the drive.

“We really fixed our blocking schemes. We changed it around a bit and kept our momentum high,” said Carpenter (93 yards rushing 31 receiving).

In the first half, the Bulldogs struggled to block Winslow’s stunting linebackers. A few tweaks to blocking assignments helped get the ground game going in the second half, Hersom said.

“We didn’t make a lot of drastic changes on play calling, we just tried to have our blocking a little more sound,” Hersom said.

Lawrence forced Winslow to punt, and Isaiah Schooler’s 32-yard return set the Bulldogs up near midfield with 7:22 to play. This time, Carpenter’s 16-yard touchdown run capped the drive.

“I thought they did a nice job controlling the football and getting those 5- to 8-yard runs and a lot of them,” Siviski said. “They executed better than we did. They blocked better than we did. They have nice quick kids. Nice team speed.”

Ben Dorval ran for 98 yards for Winslow, while Isaiah Goldsmith added 37 yards.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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