JAMES CITY – Connor Tsigaridas left his Lafayette football jersey at home before Friday night's crosstown showdown with Warhill.
The senior running back didn't miss a beat in the No. 8 jersey he wore instead, rushing for a career-high 148 yards and two touchdowns to propel the Rams to a decisive 59-12 victory at Wanner Stadium.
In a game of big plays, Lafayette (5-1 overall, 4-1 district) did just about everything it wanted offensively, rushing for 434 yards against the Lions. The Rams' win, coupled with Smithfield's loss, forced a three-way tie atop the Bay Rivers District standings along with York, which beat Poquoson 14-7.
Jahlil Green rushed for a game-high 168 yards and two scores for the Rams. Reserve Derrick Harris added a touchdown on both sides of the ball.
Green set the tone early, returning an interception to the Warhill 1-yard line. The junior running back finished the job on the next play, plowing in up the middle. He then added a two-point conversion to give the Rams an 8-0 lead with 5:41 left in the first quarter.
Tsigaridas showed he was explosive too, scoring an impressive 36-yard touchdown run. He broke through the middle, then hurdled a would-be defender and raced to the pylon. Green scored the two-point conversion to give Lafayette a 16-0 lead with 54 seconds left in the first quarter
The night of big plays continued as Brendan McGinty hooked up with Green on a 32-yard completion to set up first-and-goal. Two plays later, McGinty scored from 1 yard. Alex Webb kicked the extra point for a 23-0 lead with 5:55 left.
Devonte Dedmon gave Warhill a spark late in the first half on defense. The Warhill junior picked up McGinty's pass and returned it 48 yards for a score. The two-point conversion failed as the Lions trailed 23-6 with 2:22 left.
Lafayette regained momentum, thanks to a big kickoff return from Brandon Villanueva-Pernell to the Warhill 39. Four plays later, Schekel Wallace scored from 3 yards to give the Rams a 30-6 advantage at halftime.
Green scored his second touchdown of the game with less than five minutes left in the third, rumbling 72 yards for the first score of the second half. McGinty converted the two-point try to build the lead to 38-6.
Warhill fumbled the ensuing kickoff. Green followed with a 31-yard run, and Tsigaridas leaped his way through the final 12 yards to build a 45-6 lead with 4:04 left.
Dedmon scored on a 12-yard reception from Seth Thompson on a fade pattern. The two-point conversion failed as Lafayette still led 45-12 with 49 seconds left in the third.
Lafayette's reserves got in the action in the fourth, as Derrick Harris scored his first varsity touchdown, from 5 yards, to stretch the lead to 51-12 with 9:09 left. Harris capped a big night for Lafayette with a 102-yard interception return for a touchdown to give Lafayette a 59-12 lead.
Lafayette 59, Warhill 12
Warhill – 0-6-6-0—12
Lafayette – 16-14-15-15—59
Laf: Jahlil Green 1 run (Green run), 5:41
Laf: Connor Tsigaridas 36 run (Green run), :54