Despite leg cramps, Lawrence leads C.H. Flowers to 13-10 overtime victory over Bowie

Thomas Lawrence's 1-yard touchdown run in overtime lifted C.H. Flowers to a 13-10 victory over visiting Bowie. Bowie had converted a field goal on its possession prior to Lawrence's TD run.
By Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 17, 2010; 10:22 PM

As his teammates cavorted about the field to celebrate their overtime victory against Bowie on Friday afternoon, C.H. Flowers quarterback Thomas Lawrence lay on his back in the end zone, just across the goal line. Both of his legs were cramping. He could not walk. Center Christopher Labidou had one final blocking assignment: Keep the jovial fray away from his hurting quarterback.

Lawrence had played only sparingly in the season's first two games while recovering from a dislocated finger on his throwing hand. But with the Jaguars struggling in an early-season meeting of undefeated teams, Lawrence came on in relief and his one-yard quarterback sneak was the winning score as Flowers beat the visiting Bulldogs, 13-10, in a Prince George's 4A game in Springdale.

"It hurt a little bit when I handed off, but I wasn't paying attention to the pain," said Lawrence, who did not start Friday because Coach Mike Mayo was hoping to give the swelling in his right ring finger one more week to subside. "I'll feel it tonight. But it's nothing I can't play through. You've got to be tough out here."

In a sloppy game in which the teams combined for more penalties (23) than first downs (18), C.H. Flowers relied on a series of surprising contributors to put points on the board.

Bowie led 7-0 late in the third quarter and was driving for a score that could have put the game away when Craig Thompson sacked the quarterback, forcing a fumble. Defensive lineman Charles Rivers, a 6-foot-2, 270-pound senior, picked up the ball and lumbered 75 yards for his first career touchdown.

"I wasn't going to let anyone catch me," said Rivers, who was being chased by an even bigger offensive lineman.

Bowie took the early lead on A.J. Hendy's 72-yard catch-and-run in the second quarter. But the Bulldogs were unable to finish off other drives. In overtime, they took a 10-7 lead on a 24-yard field goal by Ben Holmes.

A penalty for illegal procedure backed Flowers up to the 15-yard line to start overtime, but Lawrence made a key 11-yard completion to Montel Ijeomah. Lawrence (4 of 4 passing for 38 yards) was helped off the field with cramps in his legs, but returned after one play and scored on a one-yard quarterback sneak on third and goal.

"It was a good thing to have Thomas to turn to and come back," Mayo said. "He has experience. He has command. The kids look up to him and responded."

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