It’s an alarming trend for a team that doesn’t need a lot of help getting better. Each week Louisa County is getting a breakout game from a different athlete. Albemarle knew it had to keep its eyes on Jarrett Hunter and Noah Robinson, the coaches screamed it from the sidelines in the first quarter. The Patriots found out on Saturday that Alex Washington is another one of those guys.
“That is a very good football player that comes to work everyday,” said Louisa coach Will Patrick. “What I love about this team, he’s one of them, its that they feel just like me — you might win but there’s a lot of film to watch and ways to get better even in a win.”
Albemarle got the first shot in and held strong for the first quarter and half. But with Louisa getting a pair of defensive touchdowns in the first half, once the offense came around and got in rhythm it was simply too much for a Patriots team playing its second game in just four days. Opening up its Jefferson District championship defense, Louisa was able to roll in the second half to a 40-7 win with three touchdowns from Washington.
“They threw three different defensive looks at us and we were just figuring it out and then DaQuandre Taylor, he’s a heck of a quarterback, and (Myles Ward) is just a great receiver, it just took us a little bit to figure things out,” Patrick said. “The defense really stepped up early. We made the adjustments and then did what we preach, flying to the football. The offense started clicking after, finally started moving the chains after that and then things changed.”
The Patriots took their opening drive and put points on the board with quarterback Taylor hitting Ward on a big pass only to then find Bruce McClain with a 36-yard touchdown pass. Albemarle was able to hold serve on defense in the first quarter and most of the second, but a trio of miscues proved costly.
“We felt good about the game plan and I think that was the first time early that the right things came together for us,” Patriots coach Brandon Isaiah said. “But after that, things bounced the wrong way. We gave them two touchdowns to change the game. I’m still excited about these boys though, we’re onto something and we’re going to keep working and going to make it work. That’s the thing, you tell them keep fighting, keep working and the self inflicted things you can fix.”
The Patriots had an interception from Jarrett Hunter end a redzone drive, but it was a 36-yard pick-6 from Austin Sims followed by a 36-yard INT return to the house from Washington that gave the the Lions a 13-6 lead with 7:10 to go in the second quarter.
“That was a big momentum boost,” Washington said. “Coaches were calling it, it came to my side and I was just there to make a play and take it to the house.”
From there, the Lions offense got rolling with quarterback Rob Allinder and Noah Robinson in the passing game and Hunter on the ground. Hunter capped a pair of drives with a pair of 7-yard touchdown runs to put Louisa up 28-7 going into the break.
‘The offensive line adjusted to (Albemarle’s) blocking and so we started bouncing it outside,” Hunter said. “We couldn’t get it going inside early so we went outside and then that opened it up.”
Albemarle had a promising drive midway through the third but the Lions defense came up with a stop on fourth and goal at the 3-yard line. Two plays from scrimmage later, Washington broke free for a 97-yard touchdown run to make it 34-7 with 3:58 to play in the third. He wasn’t done. Washington capped his big day early in the fourth quarter when he hauled in a 10-yard TD pass from Allinder to put the Lions up by 33 and wrap up the scoring.
“After the first quarter we were running slow,” Washington said. “The coaches made the right adjustments and we made the right plays and started doing Louisa football.”
The Lions (4-0) play host to Western Albemarle (3-1) while the Patriots (0-4) head over to Monticello (1-3), both games on Friday at 7 p.m.