JAMES CITY — Lafayette staked its claim to the top seed in the Group 3A East Region on Friday night with a 28-0 win over York at Wanner Stadium.
The Rams (10-0), ranked No. 1 in the region entering Friday night’s contest, finished the regular season unbeaten and were awarded the Bay Rivers District championship trophy following the game.
“It’s just another game,” said Lafayette linebacker Liam Walters. “We want to make it (to) the state championship. We know we can. We have the ability to.”
The Falcons (6-4), who will join Lafayette in the 3A East playoffs, hung around for much of the game, thanks in part to two Lafayette first-half fumbles.
The Rams tacked on two scores in the final two minutes of the game.
Lafayette kept consistent pressure on York’s J.R. Jordan, sacking him six times and limiting the Falcons to 77 passing yards.
“Our defense played outstanding tonight,” Lafayette coach Andy Linn said. “That was the key. Once we kept the ball in our hands, eventually we cracked it. I knew that we would.”
Brandon Villanueva-Pernell, Brendan McGinty, Trey Neville and John Douglass each found the end zone for Lafayette.
Douglass rushed for 100 yards on 18 carries and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
York finished with 155 rushing yards, led by Chris Spruill’s 72.
“Very proud of how hard my guys played,” York coach Doug Pereira said, “and the fact that they were in this all the way to the end. Lafayette is definitely very good. They’re a very good team. And we knew that.”
Brandon Villanueva-Pernell opened the scoring for Lafayette with a 10-yard touchdown run, taking a handoff from McGinty and slipping across the right-front corner of the end zone with 2:07 to play in the first quarter.
Lafayette capitalized on an 18-yard York punt in the second quarter.
The Rams started at the Falcons’ 40-yard line and punched the ball in seven plays later when McGinty faked a handoff before scoring standing up.
“They’re a really good defense,” said Linn. “They’re big up front. They can run to the ball really well.”
The 18-yard York punt gave Lafayette possession at the Falcons’ 40-yard line with 2:25 on the clock.
McGinty and Villanueva-Pernell kept that drive alive on a 25-yard fourth-down connection to put the Rams in the red zone.
The win should clinch home-field advantage for Lafayette through the state semifinals.
“If we can take care of our own mistakes,” said Linn, “and not worry about our opponent, we’ll be just fine.”
LAFAYETTE 28, YORK 0
York 0; 0; 0; 0 - 0
Lafayette 7; 7; 0; 14 - 28
Laf: Villanueva-Pernell 10 run (Rouse kick), 2:07
Laf: McGinty 1 run (Rouse kick), 2:25
Laf: Neville 14 pass from McGinty (Rouse kick), 1:46
Laf: Douglass 7 run (Rouse kick), 0:54
First downs: 13;18
Rushes-yards: 38-164; 54-260
Passing yards: 77; 53
Comp-Att-Int: 5-17-1; 2-7-0
Penalties-yards: 6-14; 8-50
Punts-avg: 4-28; 3-30
Fumbles-lost: 3-1; 4-2