Morgan Green won't lie to you. Lackey's All-Met running back wants to gain as many yards as possible and challenge Maryland's single-season and career rushing totals.
But when the Chargers' defense matches Green's big-play ability and gives him and the Lackey offense a short field with which to work, Green is a little torn.
"It is less running for me," Green said. "And even though I might not like that, it's a big relief. If the defense could make plays, it's less stressful on me."
Although Green rushed for 197 yards -- his second-highest total of the season -- and scored four touchdowns for the fourth time this season, Lackey's defense was the star of the Chargers' 51-13 romp at McDonough on Friday night in Pomfret.
Lackey (7-0 overall, 7-0 SMAC) forced five Rams turnovers and converted them into 29 points.
"That's the biggest thing about our defense," junior linebacker Bryan Gibbons said. "We held them, and we put Morgan in good position so that we don't have to run him so much."
Lackey's victory, combined with No. 20 Westlake's 47-7 blowout of Thomas Stone, not only pushed the Southern Maryland Athletic Conference's top two teams two games ahead of the rest of the conference in the standings, but also removed two of the biggest barriers to the teams meeting each other unbeaten in the regular-season finale Nov. 5 at Westlake (7-0, 7-0).
Green's rushing total for this season is 1,206 yards. He needs 565 yards to break former Patuxent star Terry Caulley's career rushing record among Maryland public school players. McDonough's Sherron Gudger rushed for 2,741 yards in 1990, the state single-season record.
But Friday, Green's totals were overshadowed by the Chargers' defense. Marcus Cutchember's interception on the third play of the game set up Lackey's first drive at the McDonough 34, culminating in a 15-yard scoring pass from Aaron Smith to Andy Beckett.
Four plays later, Dante Page intercepted McDonough and returned it 72 yards for another touchdown.
McDonough (5-2, 5-2) went three plays before setting up to punt, but the snap went over the punter's head, and the Rams downed the ball at their own 2. Green scored his first touchdown on the next play, giving Lackey a 20-0 lead less than seven minutes into the game.
"Our defense really picked us up, particularly early in the game," Lackey Coach Scott Chadwick said. "Dante's interception may have been the biggest play of the game. It got us out to a comfortable lead."
Although McDonough marched right down the field -- and quarterback Cory Yates scored from one yard out on fourth-and-goal to make it 20-7 -- it would prove to be McDonough's only substantial drive of the game. The Rams ran only three more plays on Lackey's half of the field until the game's final four minutes.