AMHERST — Riley Lawhorn’s performance in Saturday’s NHIAA Division II championship football game would be best described as timely.
In total, the Souhegan senior rushed 17 times for 198 yards with two of those carries accounting for 138 yards and resulting in two scores in the Sabers’ 26-21 win.
The first of the pair came in the opening period with Plymouth ahead 7-0. On his team’s first play from scrimmage, Lawhorn took a handoff from quarterback Austin Jain, bounced it outside to the right sideline and didn’t stop running until he hit paydirt roughly 68 yards later.
“It was a confidence booster,” Lawhorn said. “We knew they were going to be a good team. We knew they were going to drive it down the field (offensively).
“But it was going to be whether or not we punched back and moved on from that,” said Lawhorn. “That’s what we did. We moved on, we accepted it and played Saber football.”
The second long tote wound up going for the game-winning score. After Plymouth had just scored to take a 21-20 lead with 5:29 remaining in the game, Lawhorn took the ball on first and 10 from the Souhegan 30 yard line, weaved his way toward the left sideline and managed to stay in bounds for a 70-yard TD.
It was just what Souhegan needed and maybe came as a bit of a surprise to the Bobcats’ defense. After allowing Lawhorn to break off the big touchdown earlier, they had done a relatively good job of keeping him in check. The five carries Lawhorn had before scoring the game-winner went for a combined 4 yards.
“It was hard getting through the line, but the line stayed with it and they pushed through,” he said. “I was able to find a hole. That’s what led to that touchdown. It was a team effort. It was awesome. … Just tried to play the next play. If you make a mistake or do something wrong, drop it. Do the next play.
“We trust each other. We’re a family. We move on. We make mistakes, we have to keep moving on, and we did.”