Carlsbad’s Gavin Gestring scores on a TD pass from Christian Chapman as Grossmont’s Aspen Caraway gives chase. Jamie Scott Lytle photos
CARLSBAD It was billed as the passing duel between two of the county’s top quarterbacks.
Anthony Lawrence of Grossmont High, the San Diego Section’s top career passer for yardage and touchdowns, against Carlsbad’s Christian Chapman, who is headed to San Diego State next year.
The game turned on Holland Crider.
Coming off the bench, the senior running back entered the game with 22 carries for 165 yards for the entire season, but he dented Grossmont’s defense in the second half of a 33-17 victory Thursday night in the Division I quarterfinals.
Crider eclipsed his season total of two touchdowns as the No. 4 Lancers (9-2) won their fourth straight game to earn a berth in the semifinals Wednesday at No. 1 San Pasqual, a 42-9 winner over El Camino.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pound Crider wound up with 28 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns, including 22 carries for 152 in the second half against the No. 5 Foothillers (9-3).
After Grossmont took a 3-0 lead on J.T. Barnes’ 32-yard field goal, Chapman hit Jordan Perez on a 76-yard TD for a 7-3 lead.
Crider ran 3 yards for the go-ahead touchdown for a 13-10 lead with 2:36 left before halftime.
“In old terms, he’s a great mudder,” Carlsbad coach Thadd MacNeal said. “We went to him at halftime because we saw they were getting tired and he runs straight ahead. We decided to jam him down their throats.”
Following an 11-yard touchdown pass from Chapman (10 of 18 for 231 yards) to Jake Dornick, who also had an interception on defense, to push the lead to 20-10, Crider hit the end zone a second time.
His 8-yard touchdown pushed the lead to 27-10.
Crider added a 6-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to blunt any comeback hopes for Grossmont — which has not appeared in a section championship game since 1970 when it lost to St. Augustine — still entertained with 3:23 to play.
Grossmont added one more touchdown on a 79-yard pass from Lawrence to Jake Harr with 1:21 remaining.
Lawrence was 17 of 35 for 267 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions as Grossmont lost on the road for the first time this season after five wins.
After collecting 14 first downs on the first half, Grossmont had just six after halftime as the Lancers dominated the second half behind Crider.
With 14 first downs in the second half, Carlsbad finished with 20 for the game against the high-powered passing attack of the Hilltoppers.