Led by versatile quarterback Eric Fairweather, the Londonderry High football squad kept its superb 2014 campaign rolling with a 51-27 walloping of the struggling Merrimack High Tomahawks on the road last Friday night, Oct. 10.
Fairweather had that versatility on display for all to see in the victory, throwing for nearly 250 yards and three touchdowns, running for 135 more yards and two more scores, catching a pass himself for a 24-yard gain, and intercepting a pass and making a handful of solo tackles from his defensive back position.
“Eric has played well all season, and we strive every week to get better,” said LHS coach Jimmy Lauzon. “They gave him a few openings and he took them running the ball. Passing-wise, they gave a few good looks and he took advantage of those as well.”
The now 5-1 Londonderry High crew sprinted out to leads of 13-0 and then 23-14 by halftime, and when three quarters had been completed the visiting side was up by more than two touchdowns at 37-21. It was the now 2-4 host Tomahawks’ fourth consecutive loss.
The Lancers went up 6-0 late in quarter one on a 50-yard pass connection from Fairweather to veteran running back Dennis Bishop, and the lead became 13-0 three minutes into period two when the quarterback and wide receiver Ryan Herold hooked up on an eight-yard pass play.
The hosts managed to slice their deficit down to 13-7 on a short touchdown run with five minutes remaining in the half, but Londonderry responded with an offensive series that was capped off by a one-yard scoring jaunt by Fairweather with a little more than two minutes to go in quarter two.
But the final minute of the half was eventful as Merrimack made it a 20-14 contest with a 25-yard touchdown pass with a mere 45 seconds showing on the game clock, and LHS kicker Nick Donnelly gave his side three more points and more momentum with a 23-yard field goal as time ebbed away in the half.
The Lancers then turned it from being a relatively tight contest into a Londonderry rout by scoring two touchdowns – on a 32-yard pass from Fairweather to Herold and then a one-yard run by Kyle Byrd – to make the score 37-14.
The Tomahawks managed a late score, but the Londonderry advantage was still more than solid at 37-21 going into the fourth period.
The visiting team then put the final touches on their blowout with fourth quarter scores by Fairweather (an 80-yard sprint) and halfback Zach Caplette (10-run run).
In assessing the performance as a whole, first-year coach Lauzon saw some distinct positives and negatives from his charges, and he also gave a nod to Lady Luck.
“We made a lot of mistakes, especially in the first half,” said Lauzon. “The third quarter was a good quarter for us. We made some adjustments and the ball bounced our way a bit.”