The interruption brought no pardon for Grafton. Lafayette needed just one spectacular play to regain the momentum it generated in nearly a quarter of play Friday, and used it to roll to a 28-7 victory over the Clippers in their Bay Rivers District football game on Monday at Wanner Stadium.
The contest, interrupted Friday by rain and lightning, resumed Monday with the Rams (5-0, 4-0 district) leading 7-0 with 48 seconds remaining in first quarter. On the first play after the restart, receiver Thomas Smith took a handoff on what appeared to be a sweep, stopped and launched a 59-yard touchdown pass to wide open Garrett Losty to give the Rams a 14-0 lead.
"It was like no other play I've experienced in my life," Losty said. "Thomas threw the ball just like we planned it in practice.
"I thought we had to punch them in the face and make a statement right away."
The blow seemed to daze the Clippers (3-2, 2-2) for the remainder of the first half. They fumbled the ball away twice on kickoffs as Lafayette turned the game into a rout by scoring on its first four possessions of the first half.
The Rams defense was terrific in leading the first half surge. The star was Rodney Taylor, who started the first half on Friday by dropping Dylan Bartells for a five-yard loss, and finished it on Monday by sacking Grafton quarterback Robbie Hiser twice for losses totaling 13 yards.
"This game was big after our (35-31) loss to them last year," said Taylor, whose 104 rushing yards Monday was his first time over the century mark. "I played hard on both sides of the ball because the team needed a leader and I wanted to be it."
Taylor had a spectacular play on the 87-yard touchdown drive the Rams used to take a 21-0 lead in the second quarter, using stiff-arm to bowl over a Grafton defender en route to a 16-yard gain. Mistake-prone Grafton had had five penalties for 47 yards on the series, which ended with Will Capers' 6-yard touchdown run.
"We had too many mistakes," Grafton coach Jared Van Acker said. "Your not going to win a game with that many penalties and (four) turnovers."
The killer turnover was a Clippers fumble of the ensuing kickoff, which Damien Robinson recovered for the Rams at the Clippers 25. Trey Hulbert's 20-yard run on first down set the stage for Connor McGinty's 1-yard sneak that gave the Rams a 28-0 lead.
That capped a brilliant first half that started on Friday, when the Rams marched 50 yards for a touchdown on their opening drive. Taylor's 14-yard run and receptions of 12 yards by Losty and 16 yards by Smith paved the way for Capers 3-yard TD run.
Grafton was better in the second half, driving 96 yards on 15 plays to cut the deficit to 28-7 late in the third quarter. Hiser's 14-yard run, Dylan Bartells 25-yard run helped set up Hiser's 3-yard TD pass to Jesse Santiago.
But mistakes kept the Clippers, who had two second-half touchdowns called back by penalties, from making a big dent in the Lafayette defense.
"Defensively, I can't say enough about holding them to seven points," Rams coach Andy Linn said.
LAFAYETTE 28, GRAFTON 7
Grafton 0; 0; 7; 0 – 7
Lafayette 14; 14; 0; 0 – 28
Laf: Capers 3 run (Vaught kick)
Laf: Losty 59 pass from Smith (Vaught kick)
Laf: Capers 6 run (Vaught kick)
Laf: McGinty 1 run (Vaught kick)
Gra: Santiago 3 pass from Hiser (Anderson kick)
First downs 11; 15
Rushes-yds 23-49; 46-207
Passing yds 163; 101
Comp-att-int 11-28-2; 5-10-2
Penalties-yds 11-87; 9-75
Punts-avg 3-31; 35.5
Fumbles-lost 3-2; 0-0