CHARLOTTESVILLE – After Friday’s game, Waynesboro coach Derek McDaniel looked at his players, huddled together, some in tears, and told them that, yes, he was disappointed. Disappointed that they lost, but not in them as players.
The Little Giants, seeded No. 11, fell to No. 6 Monticello Friday night 25-6 in the opening round of the 3A West football playoffs.
McDaniel then told the players that it was okay to hurt. It showed they had pride in what they do. But he also said they should have pride in what they’ve accomplished the last two years for the Waynesboro football program, turning a perennial loser into a back-to-back playoff team.
Waynesboro’s Delano Green Jr. is tackled by Monticello’s Syrael Breckenridge and Garrett Porterfield during a 3A West regional football game played in Charlottesville on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015.
Last year Waynesboro was the 16th seed in the 16-team playoffs, but upset the top seed Hidden Valley before knocking off Broadway in the second round. Midnight finally came for Cinderella when Western Albemarle beat the Little Giants in the third round.
Apparently Albemarle County doesn’t agree with Waynesboro. In the first football meeting ever between Waynesboro and Monticello, which are separated by a mere 30 miles, the Mustangs won their sixth game in their last seven contests this season. Monticello improved to 8-3 and will travel to third-seeded Lord Botetourt next Friday.
The loss finished Waynesboro’s season at 6-5 and ended the high school careers of eight seniors, including Chris Baker, Steffan Thornton and Dominique Gray.
The teams were scoreless after a quarter, but Monticello went in front 2-0 on the first play of the second quarter when Daniel Hummel sacked Chris Baker in the end zone. Monticello then took the ensuing free kick and drove down the field for a 33-yard field goal by Jeanluc Lapierre.
Lapierre added another field goal as time expired to give the Mustangs an 8-0 halftime lead.
After getting outgained by 81 yards in the first half and never getting into the redzone, Waynesboro was fortunate to be down just a score to start the third quarter.
“They just jammed us up out on the edge,” said McDaniel. “Then they jammed us on the wings. They’ve got good athletes … they man up all over the field and, just physically, their skill people were more physical than mine.”
The Little Giants defense let Monticello drive down the field, but refused to let them in the end zone in the first half.
“I can’t ask for much more from my defense,” said McDaniel.
But the Waynesboro offense still couldn’t gain traction early in the second half and the touchdown drought ended when Darian Bates scored on a 32-yard run. That score followed a third field goal by Lapierre, a school record for field goals in one game, and Waynesboro was down 18-0 with 14 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Little Giants finally scored on a 2-yard run by Marendon Jones in the fourth quarter, but the pass for two was intercepted and the Mustangs answered when Kevin Jarrell scored on a 38-yard run.
Jarrell finished with 141 rushing yards and Bates added 127 yards in the win. Jones led Waynesboro with 28 yards on the ground. Waynesboro was outgained 278 to 67 on the ground. Baker did have 104 passing yards in the loss, 82 of them to Thornton.
WAYNESBORO 0 0 0 6 — 6
MONTICELLO 0 8 10 7 — 25
MHS — Hummel safety
MHS — Lapierre 33 FG
MHS — Lapierre 29 FG
MHS — Lapierre 30 FG
MHS — Bates 32 run (Lapierre kick)
WHS — Jones 2 run (pass failed)
MHS — Jarrell 38 run (Lapierre kick)