A series of lightning strikes last night postponed the highly anticipated Cardinal District game between No. 2 Hylton and No. 18 Gar-Field.

The game has been rescheduled for 7 tonight at Hylton and will pick up with Gar-Field leading, 7-0, with 7 minutes 58 seconds left in the first quarter.

Gar-Field scored on the only possession of the game, rattling off 82 yards on eight rushes.

The key play came when senior Larry Atkinson popped through a hole and angled toward the left sideline for a 43-yard jaunt to the Hylton 15. Atkinson later scored from four yards.

"There's a lot of game left to play," Gar-Field Coach Tony Labozzetta said. "We're happy with the way we moved the ball, but that's today and tomorrow's tomorrow."

Moments after the touchdown, about 7:40 p.m., lightning flashed, prompting a 30-minute delay. Another strike hit about 8:10, and yet another at 8:30, as the officials were filing back onto the field to restart the game. At that point, the game was postponed.

Hylton (7-0, 3-0) is seeking its 24th consecutive win. A Gar-Field victory would give the Indians (6-1, 3-0) the edge in the district title race because the other five Cardinal teams have at least two district losses.

Hylton has won four of the past five games between the teams and beat Gar-Field handily twice last season, including 46-15 in the Virginia AAA Northwestern Region championship, which also was played in rainy conditions.

Gar-Field has allowed a district-low 55 points this season.

The weather also wiped out last night's Commonwealth District slate. James Wood at Brooke Point was rescheduled for today at 1 p.m., and Sherando at North Stafford and Fauquier at Stafford both were moved to Monday night.

ON A ROLL

Hylton has won 23 straight games--playoffs included--but the Bulldogs have a ways to go to break the state records for games without a loss. (Source: Virginia High School League record book)

Consecutive wins

40--Hampton, 1995-97

39--Central (Lunenburg County), 1986-88

Consecutive games unbeaten

53--Lane High School (now Charlottesville High), 1962-67

Consecutive regular season wins

69--Southampton, 1972-79

Consecutive regular season games unbeaten

81--Central (Lunenburg County), 1983-91