Phillips, Byron, Ballowe shine as Lafayette beats Bruton 62-0


Lafayette High’s 62-0 win over Bruton on Thursday at Wanner Stadium produced the usual abundance of numbers when the score is that one-sided. The most significant, perhaps, is that it was the Rams’ 46th consecutive Bay Rivers District victory.

At some point, though, the numbers in such a contest become meaningless and the memories more important. Rams Vashod Phillips, Gavin Byron and Jordan Ballowe each had some long-lasting takeaways.

Phillips, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound sophomore, scored touchdowns on each of his three carries, for 45, 29 and 46 yards. What he remembered most, however, is Ballowe’s block on the 29-yard run.

“When I was running (a sweep) on the (right) side of the field, my boy No. 8 (Ballowe), lit up someone on the sideline,” Phillips said of Ballowe’s block. “I saw it, made the cut and it was just wide-open after that.”

Ballowe, a 5-10, 192-pound senior, scored on an 18-yard run, 26-yard reception and a 28-yard run — all before the end of a first quarter after which the Rams led 28-0. Midway through the second quarter he made an over-the-shoulder catch for a 41-yard gain.

“It was a great quarter and a great night,” Ballowe said. “Cesar Ward (the Rams quarterback) just put the ball up and I got it.”

Ballowe’s second catch, and TJ Epps’ 13-yard reception, moved the Rams to the Panthers 2-yard line. From there, senior Gavin Byron carried the ball to paydirt on consecutive 1-yard runs.

That score made it 42-0, which would normally make Byron’s exploit hardly worth mentioning. However, since he’s an offensive tackle, it will be something he’ll never forget.

“We’ve got a tradition, it’s a senior linemen thing,” Bryon said. “Senior linemen who’ve started for awhile get carries (in runaway games).

“We had (linebacker) Liam Walters do it last year, and I’ve been starting three years, so it was my turn. It was a dream-come-true.”

That Lafayette (4-1, 4-0 BRD) netted 573 yards, 415 on the ground, is hardly surprising considering the final score — even with a running clock the entire second half. Bruton (1-4, 0-4) for its part, competed hard, with Shalome Paau and Josh Uvodich making several hard hits among their many opportunities

Uvodich also stood out on offense and special teams. He made two first-half receptions with a Lafayette defender draped to his back, in addition to making a shoestring tackle on the kickoff team.

The loss is the 29th in succession in Bay Rivers play for Bruton, which opened the 2017 season with a nondistrict win at King William.


O’Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963 and follow on Twitter @MartyOBrienDP

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