Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Lancaster cruises past Lovejoy behind QB Demarcus Ayers, eight takeaways in area round of playoffs
Lancaster has made a name for itself in Texas as a perennial track power, but the football team is catching up.
Lancaster sprinted, hurdled and threw its way to a 41-16 victory against previously unbeaten Lovejoy in a Class 4A Division II area playoff at Wildcat-Ram Stadium.
Quarterback Demarcus Ayers threw for 184 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 103 yards and two more touchdowns. Wide receiver Nick Harvey caught six passes for 82 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score.
The two Lancaster standouts were the catalysts in a decisive victory.
“I can’t be happier than I am right now for our kids and our coaches,” Lancaster coach Chris Gilbert said. “We were prepared for everything this week. When it’s meant something to this team, this team has answered.”
Lovejoy, which moved up from Class 3A in the off-season, was one of the surprises of the 2012 season. Freshman quarterback Bowman Sells led the team to an 11-0 start and a District 13-4A championship.
But the freshman looked the part for the first time this season, tossing three interceptions. His teammates also struggled in the turnover department. Lovejoy (11-1) threw four interceptions, lost four fumbles and botched a punt return.
Sells averaged roughly 230 passing yards entering Friday night’s playoff. Lancaster’s strong defensive line and speedy secondary helped limit him to 112 passing yards.
“We moved the ball up and down the field,” Lovejoy coach Matt Green said. “The thing that’s won us so many games this season is we didn’t turn the football over. Tonight we turned the football over. Some of them were self-inflicted, and we had some silly turnovers.”
Lancaster (11-1) advances to face the winner between Carter and Prosper in a Region I semifinal. It’s just the second time that Lancaster has reached the third round of the playoffs, and it’s the first time since 2000.
Ayers, who is committed to Washington State, ran or passed for Lancaster’s first five touchdowns.
Harvey, who also had an interception, said Lancaster’s defense has been the fuel for its high-powered offense.
“It’s a big win,” Harvey said. “But tomorrow after we watch film, we’re just going to move on to the next round.”
Follow David Just on Twitter at @DavidJustDMN