Laurel's trick plays and steady defensive pressure yesterday lifted the Spartans to a 22-7 season-opening home victory against Sherwood.

"We just played team concept on defense," said Laurel Coach Chuck Hickes. "We kept telling the kids that {Sherwood} was good and I guess they believed us."

Richard Anderson, Sherwood's powerful running back who rushed for 156 yards on 12 carries, took a handoff, broke to the outside and raced by all the Laurel defenders for a 94-yard touchdown run and an early 7-0 lead.

Two minutes into the second quarter Kevin Dukes threw a quick pass across the middle to Mike Simmons, who ran for a nine-yard touchdown. Mike Pasqualone passed to Kevin Bailey on a conversion to put Laurel up, 8-7.

The Spartans then decided to take a chance on offense. On third and 15 from the Warriors 25, Dukes threw a quick-out pass to Simmons, who turned upfield and then pitched the ball to Dan Johnson, who took it at the 19 and raced down the sidelines for a score. After executing the two-point conversion, Laurel led, 16-7, at halftime.

"Once we got up, we didn't let up," said Johnson, who gained 143 yards on 17 carries. "We all played together and we knew that if we tried to do something, that it was going to work." Sherwood (0-1) 7 0 0 0 7 Laurel (1-0) 0 16 6 0 22

S -- Anderson 94 run (Norris kick)

L -- Simmons 9 pass from Dukes (Bailey pass from Pasqualone)

L -- Johnson 19 run (Leffler pass from Dukes)

L -- Dukes 2 run (kick failed)