LEXINGTON – The crusade intensified Friday night.

Laurens Academy (3-2) thumped Northside Christian 64-14. The Crusaders (Laurens variety; it’s also NCA’s nickname) have won three games in a row after beginning with a pair of close setbacks. In five games, Laurens Academy has put up, in rising order, 12, 38, 44, 52 and 64 points.

Clarence Bertoli had more receptions against Northside Christian (14, for 160 yards) than LA had points in its opening game. He scored 3 touchowns via the catch and another via the run. Bertoli needed only 4 carries to run for 57 yards.

Senior quarterback Thomas Lowry rushed for 269 yards and produced 4 scores, completing 19 of 28.

Northside (1-3) passed for 169 yards and rushed for a net of 5.

Head coach Todd Kirk called off the dogs in the second half, but he couldn’t completely squelch the barks. Lowry confined his game to handoffs in the third quarter and sat out the fourth.

Diamonte Grant caught a pair of passes for 31 yards and a touchdown. He collaborated with teammate Carson Venable to force a Northside fumble and Will Jones recovered it in the end zone. Cal Robertson picked off a pass. Brett Young, an 8th grader, rushed twice for 23 yards.

Caio Rita caught 3 passes for 78 yards and a TD.

Laurens Academy led 42-14 at halftime, but at one time it was 20-14, and three minutes into the game, it was 6-6.

Bertoli scored the first 3 touchdowns on runs of 17, 10 and 30 yards. Then Lowry hit Grant and Rita on scoring tosses of 25 and 8 yards, respectively. The final score of the first half was a 3-yard Lowry rush.

Cal Robertson scored on a 55-yard punt return. Bertoli’s fourth rushing touchdown was 30 yards in length. LA scored all its points in the first three quarters.