Game Blog - #3 Louisa 20, #2 Lafayette 14 in State Semis

Discussion in 'SCOREBOARD' started by matthew328826, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Greetings from The Jungle as we welcome you to the VHSL Class 4 Football State Semifinals with the #3 seed Louisa Lions (13-0) playing host to the #2 seed Lafayette Rams (12-1).

    The winner of this one here gets the winner of Sherando/Salem next week, most likely at William & Mary.

    Follow updates all afternoon long here and through my Twitter feed @ hatfieldsports
     
  2. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Lafayette wins the toss and defers to the second half. So Louisa will get the ball to begin with ....

    These two love to keep it on the ground; Louisa operating out of the single under Head Coach Mark Fisher, while Lafayette counters with the Wing-T under Head Coach Andy Linn.
     
  3. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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  4. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Third down conversions are big in a game like this and the offensive line for the Lions has been superb out of the gate against a very solid Lafayette defensive front.
     
  5. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Ten straight runs, then the Lions hit Lafayete's defense with a surprise pass and Turner was wide open, finding pay-dirt.

    Louisa couldn't have scripted a better start and this place is rocking.
     
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  6. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    The Lafayette interior o-line is holding up pretty well early on, but the Louisa defense has shown some speed to the outside coming off the edge.
     
  7. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Probably have to pass on this one.
     
  8. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Key stand by the Louisa defense and the home crowd is loving the start to this one.
     
  9. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    However, the Lions drive stalls as they are stopped on 4th & 10 as QB Malik Bell only gains a yard or two on a scramble and there was a holding penalty that Lafayette declined.

    So the Rams start their second series at their own 32.
     
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  11. matthew328826

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    Don't see two turnovers on one play very often... and even stranger is back-to-back encroachment penalties on a usually disciplined Rams team.

    That gives Louisa a first down at the 26 of Lafayette, looking to go up double-digits here early in the second period.
     
  12. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    But Louisa has a bad snap on 2nd & 1 from the 2, Malik Bell chases it down, takes off, but a block in the penalty will push the Lions back to the 25-yard line. That can be a drive killer right there.
     
  13. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Facing decision on what to do on 4th & 9 from the 10-yard line, Mark Fischer decides to go with the safer play of a field goal and now his team leads by two possessions.
     
  14. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Louisa's defensive speed and pursuit from the edge has given the Rams some fits early.
     
    14 matthew328826, Dec 2, 2017
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  15. matthew328826

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  16. matthew328826

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    Imagine they are here to see Louisa stud junior linebacker Brandon Smith. I've got him with 7 total tackles, 3 solo, to this point.

    And here is the photo evidence..

     
    16 matthew328826, Dec 2, 2017
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  17. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Lafayette can ill afford to have to go to their second unit for linemen in this game.
     
  18. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Louisa has used six different ball carriers, grinding out chunks of yards and wearing down this Lafayette defense.
     
  19. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Lions going to try the 'ol chuck-and-pray heave towards the end zone.

    It's incomplete, so we head to the half....
     
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    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    HALF - Louisa 17, Lafayette 0 here in the VHSL Class 4 State Football Semifinals.

    With Salem up 35-0 on Sherando in the first half, the Spartans are well on their way to returning to the State Finals for a fourth straight year (they've won back-to-back) and will likely be taking on Louisa, unless Lafayette can stage a wild comeback.
     
  21. matthew328826

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  22. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Some defenisve numbers of note...

    For Louisa:
    Brandon Smith - 7 Tackles (3 Solo), 0.5TFL
    Job Whalen - 4 Tackles (2 Solo), 1.5TFL, Sack

    For Lafayette:
    E.J. Green - 10 Tacles (7 Solo), 1.5TFL
    Jack Erwin - 10 Tackles (5 Solo), TFL
    Mike Rodgers - 5 Tackles, INT, PBU
     
  23. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Good rhythm offensively for Lafayette on this series to open the second half.
     
  24. matthew328826

    matthew328826 VaPreps All State
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    Sorry folks - we have had some serious Internet connectivity issues here in the box, even from my hotspot, that we missed telling you about the first TD of the afternoon for Lafayette. That came for the Rams on a Dea-Mario Tyler 3-yard run set up on a tremendous throw and catch - 33 yards from Cesar Ward to Mike Rodgers.

    Ward got drilled on the play, believe by Louisa LB Brandon Smith, as threw the ball. Smith has been everywhere on defense and just had his 2nd sack.

    But Lafayette came up with another huge completion - Ward to E.J. Green on 3rd & 26 for 25 yards. Then Ward moved the chains on 4th & 1 on a sneak play.

    It has been a tale of two halves for sure as Lafayette after getting thoroughly out-played has come out roaring now.
     
  25. matthew328826

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    The 4th & 6 pass for Lafayette is incomplete. So Louisa takes over at its own 37 with a super bright sun shining an enormous glare right in our eyes.
     
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    A gamble out of the time-out by Mark Fischer and his staff pays off...
     
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    Lafayette's defense is doing a better job of tackling on the initial hit, particularly the likes of Jack Erwin and E.J. Green really containing the running game.
     
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    And now 4th & 16 coming... Lafayette will punt it away.

    Fair catch made at the 34-yard line of Louisa by Jarrett Hunter.

    6:20 to play.
     
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  33. matthew328826

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    Coach Fischer has come too far not to take chances and with the weaponry they have - Bell, Jones, Whalen, etc. - why not?
     
  34. matthew328826

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    Credit Lafayette LB Jack Erwin (Richmond lacrosse commit) for making his 15th total tackle of the day on 3rd & 9 to keep Louisa QB Malik Bell from moving the chains or scoring.

    Bell is built like a linebacker. Reminds me a bit of Shiheem Johnson on Lake Taylor's 4A state title winning team from a few years ago.

    Bell is up to 101 yards on 26 carries - unofficially. We say unofficially because the sun is blinding from my seat in the box, but man oh man, what a ballgame this has been.

    Intense. Hard-hitting. So much to like, from both sides.
     
  35. matthew328826

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    Louisa trying to run out the clock. Folks in the box here thought that Lafayette was out of time-outs, yet the officials granted the Rams a time-out.

    Apparently, a Louisa player no calls a time-out - when the coaches did not want them to - so we have just 29.2 seconds left. Louisa looking at 4th & 15 from their own 49.

    Then after the refs huddle, they reset the clock down to 14.1 seconds. Louisa then decides to take a time-out of their own and decide how they want to punt it away or run a final play so that Lafayette doesn't have a chance to score a miraculous touchdown that sends this game to overtime.
     
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  38. matthew328826

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  39. matthew328826

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    More to come later...
     
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  40. Louisadad

    Louisadad VaPreps Rookie
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    Matt thanks for the coming to The Jungle. Our press box ladies do a great job up there. Hope you ate good.
     
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