Leopards winless after blowout loss to William & Mary

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Lafayette football loses in blowout against William and Mary while defensive squad shines. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Nicky Nathanson

The scoreboard read 24-3 by the end of the final quarter in Williamsburg, VA, last weekend where the Lafayette football team fell short to the William & Mary Tribe at Zable Stadium. However, the Leopards’ defense shined through the defeat. Senior linebacker Major Jordan and junior linebacker Marco Olivas led the defense, with a total of 18 tackles. 

The first quarter ended scoreless in a defensive battle as both the Leopards and the Tribe struggled to spark the offense. The Leopards used multiple quarterbacks in the contest, as starting sophomore quarterback Aaron Angelos handed the reins over to sophomore Rent Montie at the five-minute mark.

The Tribe started the second quarter with a bang, returning a blocked punt for a touchdown to break the tie. However, the score was overturned, as William & Mary was flagged for a block in the back. 

The Tribe managed to capitalize on the momentum, scoring on the ensuing drive as they nailed a 36-yard field goal to score the first points of the game.

Lafayette surrendered two sacks and four quarterback hurries in the first half. There were three-and-outs from both teams as Lafayette briefly stepped in William & Mary territory with a minute left in the half before Montie was sacked for a loss of nine, which pushed the Leopards back across the 50-yard line. 

Heading into the third quarter, the Leopards’ quarterbacks faced pressure from the Tribe’s defense but outgained William & Mary 96 yards to 63 yards.

Lafayette stormed the field at the start of the second half and briefly seized momentum. The Leopard’s defense stymied William & Mary and the offense began to cruise down the field. Lafayette managed to convert on two third downs on the opening drive and held the ball at William & Mary’s 23-yard line. On the next play, Montie’s pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown pushing the score to 10-0. William and Mary tagged on one more touchdown before the quarter ended and took a 17-0 lead going into the fourth.

“We were able to complete a bunch of passes and had more total yards than William & Mary, but we have to get better in the red zone,” Montie said.

Lafayette played a handful of strong drives but failed to score a touchdown.

The Leopards capitalized on the strong leg of freshmen kicker Michah Petit for a 47-yard field goal, Lafayette’s longest field goal since 2015. Hoping to catch their opponent by surprise, the Leopards attempted an onside kick which was ultimately unsuccessful.

Lafayette’s defense remained persistent, preventing a score from William & Mary’s strong field position after the failed onside kick until the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter when the Tribe’s defense capitalized on a Montie interception and took it back to the house.

The game ended a few minutes later with a final score of 24-3.

“With more experience, the offense will come together and the defense just needs to keep playing like they have been, which has been incredible to watch,” Montie said.

The Leopard’s defense limited the William & Mary offense to only 173 yards, seven first downs, and added an interception.

Montie, who led efficient drives, ended the day completing 24-of-41, amassing almost 200 passing yards and two interceptions. Aaron Angelos finished the day completing four of his eight passes for 36 yards with an interception. In the backfield, junior running back Jaden Sutton ran for an efficient 39 yards on seven attempts and caught three passes for 44 yards.

The Leopards will host the University of New Hampshire tomorrow in their first home game of the season with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff.