South Lakes High School
By Chris Colston
ARLINGTON, Va.—For South Lakes fans, the toughest part of the game at Washington-Lee High School was just getting there.
Driving on I-66 toward Washington, DC, on a misty, wet Friday night at rush hour? That’s a challenge. But once they arrived, the Seahawks treated them to another strong showing, scoring their requisite 40-plus points in a 44-0 win.
“We’re just focusing on us getting better each week,” Coach Trey Taylor said after the game. “Because the monsters are coming, and we have to be ready when it’s time to play them.”
As has been the case in all six South Lakes wins, the game was effectively over by halftime, when the Seahawks led 37-0. In the second half, Coach Taylor didn’t play his trio of senior playmakers, quarterback Devin Miles and running backs Spencer Alston and Albert Mensah. Miles’ younger brother, freshman Marcus Miles, and junior Will Shapiro took all of the snaps after intermission.
“We’re trying to play a bunch of different guys,” Coach Taylor said. “We have a lot of film with Will working with the varsity, so we wanted to see how Marcus did against varsity competition.”
While the younger Miles is a work in progress, his older brother had another solid game. He completed four of eight passes for 47 yards and two touchdowns, and added 69 yards and a score on eight carries. Mensah gained 81 yards and scored two touchdowns on just 10 carries. Their production took some of the burden off Alston, who still had 80 total yards and a score.
It was the Mensah show early. He carried the ball every play of the five-yard driving, culminating with a 43-yard burst up the middle untouched to make it 7-0. Alston—who has played more on defense the last couple of weeks—made a key interception that stopped a nice 11-play drive where the Generals had driven to the South Lakes 12-yard line. A Miles 38-yard run, followed by runs of nine and 18 yards by Mensah and Alston, respectively, moved the ball to the W-L two-yard line. On fourth down from the W-L eight-yard line, Miles found senior Dave Hagengimana for a score.
On the Generals’ next play from scrimmage, the Seahawks forced another huge turnover. Senior lineman Spencer Coppage crushed scrambling junior quarterback Ryan Dodds with a devastating hit, knocking the ball loose, and senior wide receiver Noah Seneca alertly recovered. That set up a 20-yard touchdown pass from Miles to Alston, making it 21-0.
South Lakes added two more points when, in punt formation, the Generals’ center snapped the ball high over his punter’s head deep in their own territory. Seneca swooped in for the sack, forcing the punter to throw the ball away. He was called for intentional grounding, resulting in a safety.
Then, when W-L attempted to punt from its own 15, a low snap forced the punter to kneel as he caught the ball. With his knee on the ground, officials ruled the play dead, and South Lakes got the ball on the Generals’ one-yard line. Miles took it in for the score, making it 37-0.
The win helped propel the Seahawks (6-1) to the No. 13 spot in the Washington Post Top 20, while the Generals fell to 1-6. Centreville, the school that gave South Lakes its lone loss, was ranked No. 7 in the Post Top 25, and will face No. 6 Westfield this Friday, while the Seahawks host McLean (0-7) on Senior Night. Game time is 7 p.m. After that, they will face Yorktown (6-1), before closing the regular season with a home game against rival Herndon. Then comes the playoffs—and the “monster” teams.
“It’s all about getting better right now,” Coach Taylor said. “It’s time.”