In a game featuring several big plays, a 50-yard touchdown run by Laurel's Kevin Bailey with less than two minutes remaining p roved the game-breaker as the Spartans defeated Thomas Stone, 30-14, last night at High Point in a Maryland Class A quarterfinal playoff contest.
Laurel (10-1) plays Overlea of Baltimore County Saturday at Dundalk Community College. Thomas Stone finished 9-2.
Bailey's touchdown sprint was the finishing touch to a fourth quarter filled with changes in momentum.
With Laurel holding a 16-7 lead after the third quarter, Thomas Stone began the final 12 minutes determined to battle back into the game. After forcing Laurel to punt, the Cougars took over at their 35-yard line. On first down running back Craig Thomas burst up the middle and then down the sidelines before being tackled at Laurel's 6.
Two plays later halfback Frank DiFabrizio skirted to the outside and scored from the 5 to bring Thomas Stone within 16-14.
Thomas Stone's fans sensed their team beginning to take control of the line of scrimmage for the first time in the game and started to chant a little louder. However, Laurel silenced them by going on a time consuming, 12-play drive which ended with quarterback Kevin Dukes going up the middle from one yard out for a 23-14 lead with just 3:14 showing on the clock.
Thomas Stone, which came back from an early 8-0 deficit with a touchdown set up by a trick play early in the second quarter, couldn't produce any more dramatics. The Spartans' Mike Pasquolone intercepted Gary Devinger's bomb at midfield with 2:44 left. Thomas Stone (9-2) 0 7 0 7 14 Laurel (10-1) 8 6 2 14 30
L -- Johnson 70 run (Tyson pass from Pasquolone)
TS -- Thomas 3 run (Devinger kick)
L -- Johnson 12 pass from Dukes (run failed)
L -- Devinger sacked in end zone
T -- DiFabrizio 5 run (Devinger kick)
L -- Dukes 1 run (Thomas kick)
L -- Bailey 50 run (Thomas kick)