JAMES CITY — Jahlil Green thrilled the Wanner Stadium crowd early and often on his way to 187 yards rushing and four touchdowns in Lafayette's 57-0 win over Spotsylvania on Friday in the Group 3A East Region playoffs.
He saved his best move for halftime, when he announced that he will play football for William and Mary.
Green committed to the University of Richmond in July, but decommitted in October, saying that he needed some time to rethink the decision. It was all William and Mary from there, as it has been most of the time since he began playing youth football.
"I remember telling people when I played for the (Williamsburg) Hornets that I wanted to play for William and Mary, and then asking my coaches at West Point (High) to help me get recruited," Green said, referring to his two seasons at West Point before transferring to Lafayette. "There's really no reason I wouldn't want to play for William and Mary.
"It's a great institution, close to home and they play good football. It was my childhood dream to play for the Tribe."
Green made the announcement at the close of Senior Night activities during intermission, after running for 157 yards and three touchdowns to help Lafayette stake a 43-0 lead after two quarters. He was flanked by his mothers, Rhonda Lassiter and Loretha Green, and his brother Jordan Lassiter as his handwritten announcement was read over the loudspeaker.
"Much thanks and love go out to my parents, Rhonda and Loretha, my sister Dominique and my brother and teammate Jordan, and my head coach Andy Linn," Green said. "I would like to thank God for my many blessings.
"I'm honored as well as humbled to be given this opportunity."
Green, a 5-foot-11, 183-pound senior, took every opportunity available to shine. He ran for 9 yards on the first play from scrimmage and for a 49-yard touchdown on the second to ignite the rout.
He had 100 yards on his first six carries before the end of the first quarter, and was far from a one-man-band. Backfield mates Darren Patton and Schekel Wallace ran for touchdowns of 32 and 23 yards, respectively, as the Rams lead 22-0 at the end of a quarter.
Meanwhile, the defense — which has been just as responsible for the Rams' No. 1 ranking in state Group 3A as the offense — simply overpowered the Knights. A whopping 41 of the Knights' 49 plays netted 3 yards or fewer, with 35 of those going for no gain or a loss of yards.
Green added a second half touchdown run, improving his season totals to 1,728 yards rushing and 28 TDs. The Rams will be back at Wanner next week to host the Warren County-Park View (South Hill) winner in the second round of the playoffs.
"We did everything well tonight except pass and catch," said Linn, a William and Mary graduate, of the Rams' 1-of-8 aerial game that included three interceptions, before making a quip about Green's college choice. "Nothing wrong with Jahlil picking William and Mary.
"He'll be the second best athlete associated with Lafayette to play there."
LAFAYETTE 57, SPOTSYLVANIA 0
Spotsylvania: 0....0....0....0 - 0
Lafayette: .22....21....7....7 - 57
Laf: Green 49 run (McGinty run), 11:03
Laf: Patton 32 run (Rouse kick), 7:15