JAMES CITY ——Lafayette High football coach Andy Linn wrestled with himself for a few moments after his team's Bay Rivers District football game against Smithfield on Saturday at Wanner Stadium.
Linn was pleased with the intensity and execution his Rams displayed in a dominant first half, but not so happy that they wore down and got a little banged up in the second half. Then he thought about the final score — Lafayette 30, Smithfield 7 — and settled the issue.
"I'll take a win like this any time."
Linn hates Saturday games because they take a team out of its normal routine. So he was very happy that the Rams (4-0, 3-0 district) played so hard and well in building a 23-0 halftime lead.
Brannon Waters and Carlos Coronado set the tone by dropping a Smithfield ball-carrier for a loss on the first series and forcing a punt. The pair would star on the Lafayette defense all afternoon.
Quarterback Connor McGinty, receiver Thomas Smith and fullback Will Capers were the Rams offensive standouts. McGinty threw for 144 yards, connecting with Smith on three long touchdown passes, while Capers ran for 177 yards on 14 carries.
McGinty passed to Smith for 54 yards and a score, before Capers burst 80 yards up the middle to give the Rams a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter. A Smith-McGinty TD hookup for 40 yards and a Smithfield punt snap out of the end zone for a safety gave the Rams a 23-point lead at intermission.
Smithfield (1-3, 1-2) showed more spunk in the third quarter, when its offensive line pushed the tiring Rams defensive front back some to open holes for a bevy of Packers running backs. The best of that group was Kyon Croker, who ran for 102 yards, and finished a nine-play 82-yard drive to open the second half with a 9-yard touchdown run that cut the Rams lead to 23-7.
But it took Lafayette just three plays — including a 36-yard run by Capers and a 39-yard McGinty to Smith touchdown pass — to put the margin back at 23 points. And when Rodney Taylor broke up a pass to end Smithfield's 16-play drive early in the fourth quarter, the outcome was effectively settled.
"We're young and we're not the same team from one week to the next," said Smithfield coach Tyris Hill, whose team beat Jamestown 34-3 eight days earlier. "I think we're a year away from being a very good football team."
LAFAYETTE 30, SMITHFIELD 7
Smithfield 0; 0 ;7; 0 – 7
Lafayette 14; 9; 7; 0 – 30
Laf: Smith 54 pass from McGinty (Vaught kick)
Laf: Capers 80 run (Vaught kick)
Laf: Smith 40 pass from McGinty (Vaught kick)
Laf: Safety, Smithfield punt snap out of the end zone
Smi: Croker 9 run (Uzdavinis kick)
Laf: Smith 39 pass from McGinty (Vaught kick)
First downs 12; 15
Rushes-yds 47-239; 34-228
Passing yds 20; 144
Comp-att-int 2-12-2; 6-10-0
Penalties-yds 8-59; 4-32
Punts-avg 3-36; 3-37
Fumbles-lost 1-0; 2-1