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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Lunenburg pushes W&L out of game


VICTORIA—The Washington & Lee Eagles received the message loud and clear from head coach Antron Yates in the locker room following their 28–19 loss to Central Lunenburg in the 1A–East quarterfinals Friday night.

The youthful Eagles believed they were pushed around as the Chargers amassed 323 rushing yards to set up a meeting with No. 1 seed Essex next Saturday in the regional semifinals.

Washington & Lee’s season ends with a 7–5 record.

“At some point it’s just the weight room—weight room, weight room, weight room,” Yates said. “You can scheme, you can scheme, you can scheme but sometimes the weight room is really relevant and today we ran into a team that showed us the weight room is where it’s at.”

Central Lunenburg standout running back Dajour Smith did most of the damage with 136 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

The Chargers (10–2) were able to run the final 7:04 off the clock after W&L wide receiver Davon Hamilton hauled in a 40-yard touchdown pass from Treshaun Brown to pull the Eagles within 28–19.

Chargers’ running back JaQuan Taylor converted a third-and-16 play on the critical drive with an 18-yard run.

“We couldn’t stop the double wing,” Eagles’ wide receiver and defensive back Jarret Sumiel said. “They were just stronger than us.”

The Eagles were able make big plays in the passing game to stay close. Brown threw two pivotal interceptions, but he also passed for 215 yards and three touchdowns.Hamilton racked up 114 receiving yards, including touchdown catches of 43 and 40 yards.

His first touchdown pulled the Eagles within 14–7 with 4:39 left in the second quarter. The Eagles got the ball back with 1:03 left in the first half and seemingly appeared content to go into halftime trailing by a touchdown.

But Brown found Alex Lane for a 19-yard pass on third down. He then hooked up with Hamilton for 31 yards before Sumiel got behind his defender for a 34-yard scoring strike as the first-half clock expired.Lane’s extra point attempt was blocked, but the Eagles had momentum as they were set to get the ball back after intermission.

“I thought we had it in the bag,” Hamilton said.

But a promising opening drive was stalled by a holding penalty followed by the first of Brown’s interceptions. The Chargers then capped an 11-play, 69-yard drive with Smith’s 4-yard touchdown run to take a 21-13 lead with 2:47 left in the third quarter.

Central Lunenburg pushed the advantage to 28-13 on quarterback Graham Smith’s 17-yard screen pass to Tucker Price for a touchdown on 4th-and-12 with 7:51 left in the game.

The Eagles responded with Brown’s touchdown toss to Hamilton, but couldn’t stop the Chargers when it mattered as they ran 14 straight plays to seal the win.

The Eagles are left to look forward to next year with several key players returning.

“We’re very young and I think they’ll be ready to go next year,” Yates said. “I think this type of loss will leave a bad taste in their mouth. When they start hearing ‘Weight room, weight room, weight room,’ then they need to start showing up.”