Special teams’ score swings momentum in favor of Lafayette, pulls away from New Kent 35-13
For the past several years, every team in the Bay Rivers District understood that the football’s league championship runs through the Lafayette Rams. And for the first 16 minutes of the game, it appeared the visiting New Kent Trojans presented a legitimate threat to the reigning champions.
But a special teams play swung momentum in favor of the Rams as Lafayette pulled away from New Kent 35-13 in Friday night’s gridiron contest.
Lafayette flexed their muscles early in the game, as a misdirection running play confused the Trojans’ defense, resulting in Ram running back Sam Boyer toting the ball 45 yards for a 7-0 lead for the hosts.
New Kent received their first break in the second quarter. A fumble by Lafayette resulted in Trojan safety Ryan Grey recovering the ball at midfield. New Kent signal caller Aston Whitlow connected with Logan Frederick on a 32-yard connection. On the next play, Whitlow found senior target Joey Campbell in the end zone from 18 yards out, helping lead to the game being knotted at seven apiece with 7:16 remaining until the halftime break.
But the momentum the visiting Trojans had found quickly depleted, as on the ensuing kickoff Lafayette’s Adrian Warren returned it 75 yards for a score. With 1:32 remaining until the break, the hosts orchestrated a drive, capped off by Demarcus Lawrence’s four-yard plunge to bestow the Rams a 21-7 advantage at halftime.
With neither team placing points on the board in the third quarter, Lafayette took to the air to kick off the fourth. Ram quarterback Luke Hanson completed a 36-yard toss to Donald Gatling, upping the advantage to 21 (28-7) for the Rams.
New Kent rebounded two minutes later. Another connection from Whitlow to Campbell for 19 yards eventually led to a one-yard plunge by Whitlow to cut the deficit to 15 (28-13).
However, the Rams were prepared to strike back. Hanson and Gatling were able to reunite through the air, this time on a 63-yard strike down the sidelines to seal the contest and elevate Lafayette’s win column.
New Kent Head Coach John McCauley praised his team’s defensive efforts, saying that the big plays were the difference between winning and losing.
“Defensive wise, we played smash mouth football,” he commented. “We came out and showed Lafayette that we were here to stay and were not going anywhere.
“A couple of big plays by them along with us not getting our offense going like we wanted to was the difference,” McCauley added. “Other than the big plays, I will take this loss. We will build on it and we showed the Bay Rivers District that we are here to stay.”
New Kent drops to 3-2 on the season.