The Washington and Lee Eagles put up a balanced offensive attack and a stonewalling defensive effort Friday night in Montross to shut down Northern Neck District foe Lancaster, 35-0.
“For the first time this year, we had a balanced passing and running game and that opened up a lot for our offense,” said W&L Coach Antron Yates. “We had five touchdowns and they were all scored by different people. When you have that kind of balance it is hard for a defense to stop you,” he added.
Quarterback Chris Graham was two for five and had 98 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Quarterback Dewayne Cherry was two for two with 33 yards and a touchdown. Graham found Eric Mason for a 75-yard pass play that gave the Eagles a 7-0 score after the first quarter.
The Eagles opened the game up in the second quarter blasting for 21 points and putting the game away as Kwame Gray rushed in from six yards out. Dwayne Cherry scored on a 30-yard run, and Dexter Thomas scored from 10 yards out.
Eric Mason caught his second and final pass of the night this one from Cherry in the third quarter to round out the Eagles’ scoring.
Mason’s two catches accounting for 96 of the Eagles’ 135 receiving yards. Gray caught one pass for 17 yards and John Jims caught one pass for 18 yards.
Dexter Thomas led the Eagles’ ground game, rushing for 87 yards on 18 carries. Gray rushed for 48 yards on seven carries.
Alex Lane was a perfect five for five in the kicking department, adding all the point-after attempts.
The Red Devils had difficulty running, amassing just 92 yards on the ground. The Eagles’ solid run defense forced the Red Devils’ Kedrick Lee to take the air, going 12 of 19 for 103 yards while throwing two interceptions.
W&L’s Yates reserved his special praise for the defensive unit.
“The defense is really carrying the load for us right now,” Yates said.
The Eagles had two interceptions (Jeremy Taylor and Davon Hamilton) and one sack (Milan Bullock) on the way to shutting out the Red Devils.
“The defense has continued to improve,” Yates added, especially after facing a very good, larger AA team, from King George High School.
The 5-1 King George Foxes handed the Eagles their worst defeat of the season, 41-0, but there may be a silver lining.
Following that game the Eagles took on Division 2 powerhouse King William and took them down to the wire, losing 8-7, and only after the Cavaliers posted a fourth-quarter touchdown and two-point conversion.
“I think we are battle tested right now,” Coach Yates said. “We have battled with the best and we have seen that we can hang with them. We are confident, but not over confident.”
Yates also praised his offensive line which has steadily improved especially at protecting the quarterback and opening up the running game.
Next week the Eagles travel to Northumberland, a relatively young team. “The bottom line is we are not thinking we are better than we are. We are just making sure we handle business,” Yates said. Next week, Lancaster entertains Rappahannock.
The Colonial Beach Drifters will have to shake off their first district loss before facing their next opponent after falling on homecoming to Rappahannock in a 35-12 loss.
Last Friday, both teams struggled to get on the board at the start of the opening quarter, but it was the Raiders that struck first with four minutes of play time, Rappahannock’s quarterback Will Hoover scored on a one-yard touchdown run followed by kicker Aaron Rock knocking down the extra point to put their team up 7-0 over Colonial Beach.
Colonial Beach Drifters
Three drives later, the Drifters had an opportunity to tie the game after Colonial Beach’s quarterback Nick Graves connected with wide receiver Tim McDowney for a 38-yard touchdown reception. But the extra point attempt was no good.
Rappahannock responded with a nifty screen play for another score. With the football on their 46-yard line, Hoover threw a screen pass to Tylek Sorrell for a touchdown reception. The extra point kick by Rock was good to give Rappahannock a 14-6 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Rappahannock made some plays on offense and defense that lead to some key scores.
With Colonial Beach in possession of the football on their own 18-yard line, Rappahannock forced Graves to throw his first interception of the night.
Rappahannock’s Marcus Byrd caught the ball and ran it in for a touchdown. The score was followed by Rock knocking down the extra point to give Rappahannock a 21-6 lead with 5:56 left in the third quarter.
Colonial Beach’s offense struggled to score on their next drive and the defense witnessed another touchdown by Rappahannock’s offense.
With less than a minute and a half, Hoover connected with receiver Tevin Fisher for a 12-yard reception, then connected with tight end Tyler Spear on the next play for a 48-yard touchdown. Rock’s kick gave Rappahannock a 28-6 lead.
Colonial Beach’s offense came out fired up, moving the ball down the field for a touchdown covering over 50 yards. Graves connected with running back Dion Gonzalez for a five-yard touchdown reception. The two-point conversion was no good ,leaving Rappahannock with a 28-12 lead to start the fourth quarter.
The final score of the game came courtesy of Hoover connecting with Rock for a nine-yard touchdown reception. Rock later knocked down his fifth and final field goal of the night.
“There was no effort at all,” said Colonial Beach Coach Scott Foster. “It was homecoming and I’m just disappointed. I felt like they didn’t play hard tonight until the end.”
Rappahannock (4-2, 1-0) will travel to Lancaster (3-3, 0-1) and Colonial Beach (3-3, 0-1) to Essex (6-0, 1-0) on Oct. 12. for next week’s games. Both kick off at 7 p.m.