Central Lunenburg eliminated Lancaster, 42-21, and Altavista knocked off Northumberland, 64-12, in the sectional playoffs.
Still alive, along with Essex, are Washington & Lee, which blanked Middlesex, 49-0, and Rappahannock, which beat Colonial Beach, 21-8. The Eagles will travel to Central Lunenberg and the Raiders will go to Franklin for semifinal games Friday, November 22, while the Trojans earn a home berth against Parry McCluer. Kickoff time for all three is 7 p.m.
In Tappahannock last Friday, the Trojans (10-1) scored off the first two plays of the game, running back the kickoff for a touchdown and forcing a fumble and TD recovery on the ensuing kick to take a 14-0 lead just 25 seconds into the game. And things just went downhill from there for the 2-9 Dukes. Essex took a 56-0 lead at the half before both teams agreed to a running clock and eight-minute versus 12-minute quarters in the second half.
In Warsaw, Colonial Beach took an 8-0 lead early, but was held scoreless for three quarters as the host Raiders went on to beat the Drifters.
At Central Lunenburg, the host Chargers took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter off a 52-yard run and a 12-yard pass play before the Devils got on the board with a Ricky Gibson to Kaliq Noel 11-yard pass with 30 seconds to play in the second quarter. Jack Kelly kicked the PAT to pull Lancaster within 14-7. However, Central Lunenburg responded to take a 21-7 lead into the locker room at the half and went up 28-7 before the Devils rallied for back-to-back scores in the third to get as close as 28-21.
Gibson connected with Demetrick Lee on a 50-yard scoring strike with 3:41 to go in the third and with less than a minute left in the quarter, Gibson scored off a three-yard quarterback keeper. Shawn Sutton converted Lee’s score for two and Kelley’s PAT kick after Gibson’s rush was blocked.
Gibson actually completed 14-of-27 passes on the night for 209 yards with two touchdowns, but Lancaster’s rushing game was nearly nonexistent. The Chargers held the Devils to only 49 yards on 36 carries with Gibson rushing 27 times for 48 yards and a score. Lee led the receivers with four catches for 91 yards with a touchdown and Tyrell Henderson had two catches for 53 yards. Sutton also caught two passes for 34 yards.
Central Lunenburg outgained Lancaster, 472 yards to 258, with most of those gains coming on the ground. The Chargers rushed 43 times for an impressive 429 yards. They turned the ball over twice, once each on a fumble and interception, while Lancaster fumbled over possession three times. RaQuan Ball had the pick for the Devils.
Defensively, Sam Bouis had 7.5 tackles for Lancaster including five solos. Gibson and Bridell Carter got in on five tackles each with Gibson making four solos.