Lafayette shuts down King's Fork in Region 4A title game

Dea-Mario Tyler rushed for 120 yards and two touchdowns, and the Lafayette High defense continued its season-long dominance as the Rams beat King’s Fork 17-7 Friday to win the Region 4A championship.

The Rams (12-1) will play at Louisa County (13-0) at 1 p.m. next Saturday in a state semifinal. Louisa beat Dinwiddie Friday for the Region 4B championship.

Lafayette ran 64 offensive plays, 56 on the ground. Eight different players carried the ball and totaled 264 yards rushing. The Rams never punted in the game and converted on fourth down four times in the second half.

“Our main deal is running the ball, physical up front, and trying to wear the other team down,” Rams coach Andy Linn said. “I said last week if we can get 60 offensive plays, we’ll win this football game.”

Tyler’s first- and third-quarter touchdowns were enough for a defense that held a potent King’s Fork offense scoreless for more than 45 minutes on Friday. The Bulldogs (11-2) scored on an 82-yard pass from Justin German to Bobby Boone with 2:15 left to play in the game.

But King’s Fork could do no further damage.

In shutting down the Bulldogs, the Rams’ defense halted an explosive offense featuring running back Darran Butts (1,744 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns coming into the game) and quarterback German (2,273 passing yards and 22 touchdowns). And the Bulldogs beat Oscar Smith and Nansemond River — which remain alive in the Class 6 and Class 5 state semifinals, respectively — <FZ,1,0,29>during the regular season.

The Rams have allowed more than 14 points only twice this season — in a 15-10 loss to Norcom in their season opener and in a 48-17 win over Warhill in the opening round of the state playoffs. They shut out four opponents and have held eight of their 13 opponents on the season to fewer than 10 points.

Lafayette, which was playing in the state quarterfinals for the fifth straight year, returns to the state semifinals for a second consecutive season.

The Rams lost to Dinwiddie 28-14 in the 2016 state semifinals. They are seeking their first state championship appearance since 2014, when they lost 25-19 to Magna Vista in the title game.

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