Craig pulls away away from La Follette
MADISON Cameron Wright certainly didn’t look like a quarterback coming back from a knee injury.
The senior ran for two touchdowns and threw for another as Janesville Craig improved to 3-2 in Big Eight Conference football by pulling away from Madison La Follette, 30-14, Friday night at Lussier Stadium.
Besides the touchdowns, Wright made the play of the game to open the fourth quarter. After Anthony Briggs returned a kickoff 85-yard to bring the Lancers within 16-8, Wright engineered 64-yard drive that was highlighted by a 38-pass to Darian Sharifi on fourth-and-14 from the La Follette 40. Sharifi broke inside, before breaking back outside and hauling the diving catch in front of the left pylon.
“I knew Darian could get there,” Wright said.
Two plays later, Ron Lindgren scored on a 1-yard run up the middle to push the Cougar lead to 23-8.
“Darian Sharifi really stepped up and had a nice game,” Craig coach Ben McCormick said. “The way the ball came out of Cam’s hand, I didn’t think it had a chance of being caught. Darian made a great effort to get to that.”
Sharifi caught all four of Wright completions for 73 yards, including an 11-yard reception in the second quarter, which put Craig on top 9-0. Wright, who sat out the first two games of the season with his injury, added 95 yards rushing on 22 carries. Austin Schleisner led the Cougars with 116 yards on 13 carries.
For the game, Craig rushed for 331 yards , while limiting the Lancers to 42.
“I was extremely proud of our defense,” McCormick added. “They gave up six points. We gave up the other score on a kickoff return. They bent a little bit, but they didn’t break.”
La Follette answered Lidgren’s score, with a 9-play, 73-yard scoring drive, capped by a 6-yard run by Briggs to narrow the gap to 23-14 with 7:34 left.
However, the Craig defense stepped up after Kawon Johnson recovered a Craig fumble at the La Follette 44 with 4:47 left. La Follette turned ball over on downs at the Craig 46, before Wright took off on a 39-yard touchdown scamper on fourth-and-three to finish off the Lancers with 1:35 remaining.
“I knew if we got one more score after that kickoff return our defense was going to stop them,” Wright said.
CRAIG 30, LA FOLLETTE 14
Janesville Craig 2 7 14 7—30
Madison La Follette 0 0 14 0—14
Scoring summary: JC—Safety, fumble out of end zone. ML—Darian Sharifi, 11 pass from Wright (Speth kick); JC—Cameron Wright, 4 run (Speth kick); ML—Anthony Briggs, 85 kickoff return (Horn pass); JC—Ron Lindgren, 1 run (Speth kick); ML—Briggs, 6 run (pass failed); JC—Wright, 39 run (Speth kick).
Statistics: First downs—JC 22, ML 11. Rushing—JC 56-331, ML 28-42. Yards passing—JC 73, ML 127. Passes—JC 13-4-1, ML 27-8-0. Fumbles—JC 1-1, ML 0-0. Penalties—JC 10-65, ML 8-52.