Larry Atkinson and his half-brother Jamar are teammates on the Gar-Field football team, but that doesn't mean they leave their friendly rivalry on the sidelines when they take the field.
After Jamar Atkinson scored the Indians' lone touchdown in a 9-7 season-opening win at George Washington-Danville, the sophomore running back was all too happy to remind his older brother of the fact.
"I let him know about it this week," Jamar said.
Thursday night, Larry got even. The senior back scored two touchdowns to Jamar's one as Gar-Field improved to 2-0 with a 35-0 thumping of Fauquier. Another pair of siblings--quarterback Ryan S. Smith and wide receiver Justin Smith--combined on a 17-yard touchdown pass.
"We always have a competition in our family," said Larry, who is about a half-foot shorter and 40 pounds lighter than the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Jamar.
Thursday, it didn't take long for Larry to draw even, as he rushed for a six-yard touchdown in the first quarter to put the Indians up, 7-0. Midway through the second quarter, after senior teammate Curtis Collins's 35-yard interception return, Larry caught a six-yard pass from Ryan Smith to put Gar-Field up by two touchdowns.
At halftime, which lasted a half-hour because of a brief lightning storm, Gar-Field coaches scolded Jamar because "we didn't think he was running the ball hard enough," Indians Coach Tony Labozzetta said. At the time Jamar had 10 yards on five carries.
Jamar responded with 30 yards on four carries in the second half, including a three-yard touchdown run to put Gar-Field up by 21 early in the third quarter.
Later in the quarter the Smith twins connected for a touchdown, and senior Steward White capped the night with a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Larry's performance (84 yards, eight carries) put him on his way to his goal of a 1,000-yard season, a goal his brother shares. Their mother, who is in the military, moved the family, which includes an older brother now in college, from Alabama in August 1998. They arrived in time to play football last year, but Labozzetta expects more now that they're more settled.
"I knew it was time for me to step it up," Larry Atkinson said. "I felt it was time to step it up the first game, but it didn't happen. Tonight I was able to get it going."
Fauquier (2-1) 0 0 0 0--0
Gar-Field (2-0) 7 7 14 7--35
G--L. Atkinson 6 run (Gvozdas kick)
G--L. Atkinson 6 pass from R. Smith (Gvozdas kick)
G--J. Atkinson 3 run (Gvozdas kick)
G--J. Smith 17 pass from R. Smith (Gvozdas kick)
G--White 75 punt return (Gvozdas kick)
RUSHING--Fauquier: Bailey 16-74; Gar-Field: L. Atkinson 8-84, J. Atkinson 9-40.
PASSING--Fauquier: Stuart 3-8-2 22; Gar-Field: R. Smith 6-8-0 116.
RECEIVING--Gar-Field: King 3-85, J. Smith 2-25.
CAPTION: Ryan S. Smith (14) has 116 yards on 6 of 8 passing, including a touchdown to his brother Justin.
CAPTION: Breaking Away to Lopsided Victory: Gar-Field tailback Larry Atkinson shakes a tackle attempt by Fauquier's Tyree Williams during Indians' 35-0 win Thursday.