South Lakes High School
|South Lakes High School||49|
By Chris Colston
VIENNA, Va.—Friday at Oakton, it was a good night to be a senior Seahawk named Spencer.
Lineman Spencer Coppage had a sack, interception, forced a fumble, and on offense he helped open holes that rolled up 202 first-half rushing yards in South Lakes’ 49-7 win over the Cougars. The other Spencer, running back Spencer Alston, gobbled up 109 of those yards on the ground. He added 121 receiving yards and scored four touchdowns—even though he was out of the game before halftime, when South Lakes led 42-0. At intermission, the only drama was how hoarse Oakton’s spirited red, white, and blue clad student body would be after its valiant third-quarter cheering in the face of a 49-7 defeat.
The lopsided score allowed South Lakes Coach Trey Taylor to rest senior offensive stars such as Alston, running back Albert Mensah (seven carries, 60 yards, one touchdown), quarterback Devin Miles (six-for-six passing for 154 yards and two touchdowns) and most of his other starters for the end of the first half and the entire second half. The only starters who played after halftime were younger players who needed the repetitions; the Seahawks’ lone second-half touchdown came when junior quarterback Will Shapiro found reserve senior receiver Kazim Khan for a six-yard touchdown pass.
“It was good to play a lot of young kids,” Coach Taylor said. “I thought the two freshmen we were able to play, (quarterback) Marcus Miles and (running back) Dylan White, looked good.”
But nobody looked as good as Alston. For the season, he’s averaging an astounding 36.8 yards per reception and 13.8 yards per carry with nine scores.
“If he can run like that and catch like that, it’s a problem (for opponents),” said Rebel Run analyst Rob Giampapa in a recent broadcast. “It’s just unfair.”
Said Alston, “I think I’m playing at a higher level because I’m more efficient with the ball in my hands. After playing varsity football since I was a freshman, I just feel like the game is coming easier to me now.”
Giampapa and John Moore—who jokingly refers to himself as the unofficial “Mayor of Reston”—sure do love them some South Lakes football. In Episode 51 of the Rebel Run Sports Show—which you can find on YouTube—they interviewed both Alston and Mensah. “It’s going to be fun watching South Lakes this year,” Moore said.
“Fun for us,” Giampapa said. “Not for the people playing them.”
For the third consecutive game, South Lakes (3-0) intercepted two passes, by Joseph Dagbe and the “other” Spencer. “I was just fighting off a block and read the screen,” Coppage said. “I saw the ball, put my hand out, and caught it.”
In three road games, South Lakes (ranked No. 12 out of 366 schools in Virginia by MaxPreps, and No. 4 among all Virginia 6A schools) has yet to be challenged by a tough opponent (Oakton fell to 0-3, while Woodson and Falls Church are both 1-2). The Seahawks have outscored the opposition by a combined score of 133-14. Last year after three games, that number was 112-42.
“I like where we are right now,” Coach Taylor said. “I think we’re better than we were in Week Three last year. We were putting up points like this at the same point last season. Defensively, we still have to clean up some things; we’re still making some mental errors on coverages, and if we get in a close game, it could make the difference.”
Next week South Lakes host their first home game of the season, welcoming the Dominion High Titans (2-1), a 4A school out of Sterling, Va. After losing their opener at Clarke County 39-24, the defense-minded Titans have won two in a row, shutting out Potomac Falls 3-0 and Fauquier 42-0. MaxPreps ranked Dominion as the No. 12 4A school in Virginia, and the No. 54 school overall. Game time is 7 p.m.