By Brandon Speck
FALKNER – Jeramie Lawrence is doing his thing. The Falkner running back just needs colleges to see it at his small Class 1A school.
“He’s got the size. You look at these big-time tailbacks that are playing in the SEC. They’re 6-foot, 200 pounds. That’s what Jeramie is. He can run over you. He can catch the football,” Falkner coach Cory Armstorng said.
Lawrence (5-foot-11, 190) is having a second straight huge season – last season 1,801 yards and 26 touchdowns on 189 carries. The junior has rushed for 1,238 yards and 25 touchdowns on only 138 carries this season.
Lawrence is running in a more spread-out system and he credits the line for making it work. But Armstrong says Lawrence has also improved in the lanes. The numbers are there, even sitting in the second half of big wins or watching talented teammates do their thing, too. Not that the numbers matter to Lawrence.
“That’s something I look at after the season’s over,” Lawrence said. “I’m not really looking at my stats during the season.”
At Smithville last week, he took the first play 63 yards for a touchdown.
A safety on defense, he doesn’t come off the field, and admittedly likes to hit.
“He’s got speed. You can’t coach that. In the past, he’s tried to get outside. That was his thing. This year, he’s learning to see lanes inside,” Armstrong said. “That’s been the biggest difference.”
The Eagles have more than Lawrence. Quarterback Jase Stroupe has thrown and rushed for a combined 2,060 yards and accounted for 24 touchdowns.
Lawrence’s 26 scores – one receiving – is second in the state, first among public schools. Only Cenla Christian (La.) quarterback Peyton Gautheir has more, 27. Cenla plays in the MAIS. Lawrence’s 26 tied his own school record.
“He can run between the tackles, get outside, catch the ball. He’s a complete back,” Armstrong said. “It’s not like on third down, you’ve got to get him off the field. He doesn’t have to come off the field and I think he can play defense, a great strong safety.”
Falkner hosts Coffeeville on Thursday, a key game in the Division 1-1A race. The Eagles (6-3, 5-1) are currently in the middle of a scrum for a home playoff opener.
Lawrence is a huge part of that. A breakout sophomore year put a target on his back.
“This year, I see when I run a certain play, I have three or four guys that will come take me and leave Jase,” Lawrence said. “It’s good to have those guys you can depend on.”