Stafford's Thomas McClelland carried the Indians to their first playoff berth since 1994 with his legs, setting a school record with 1,733 rushing yards. But last night, the senior running back directed Stafford to its first playoff victory with his right arm, tossing two touchdown passes on halfback options and sparking Stafford to a 36-7 victory over visiting Halifax in a Virginia AAA Division 5 Northwestern Region semifinal.
Stafford (9-2) will host Culpeper in the regional final next Friday at 7:30. Earlier this season, the Indians defeated Culpeper, 24-7, for the first time in 33 years.
It was a busy night for McClelland, who was the only Stafford player to complete a pass. In addition to his six- and 97-yard scoring strikes -- both to senior Robert Thompson -- McClelland rushed for 230 yards on 14 carries, intercepted a pass in front of his own end zone and made a goal-line fourth-down tackle before the game had been decided.
"That's pretty much the norm for him at this point," Stafford Coach Roger Pierce said.
The Indians were hosting their first home playoff game and recorded nine wins for the first time in at least 30 years.
"Hopefully, we'll set a tradition for future Stafford teams," said McClelland, who has scored a school-record 24 touchdowns this season.
* CENTRAL-LUNENBURG 22, BRENTSVILLE 15: Central-Lunenburg's Tremaine Fowlkes scored from three yards in overtime to lift the visiting Chargers (7-4) in a Virginia A Division 2 Region B semifinal.
After Fowlkes's score on second down, Brentsville (8-3) ran the ball four times, but Wes Basham was stopped on a surge into the line on fourth down from a little more than a yard out.
"If I had to run the same play over again, I would run it again. Wes is our man,'' Brentsville Coach Dean Reedy said of his team's leading rusher.
The game might not have reached overtime if not for a bizarre play that resulted in a touchdown for Brentsville late in the third quarter. With 3 minutes 37 seconds left, a 27-yard field goal attempt by the Tigers deflected off the Central defensive line into the end zone, where it was picked up by a Central defender. As he was about to be tackled in the end zone, the defender tossed the ball in the air, and it was recovered in the end zone by Brentsville's Thomas Burke.
Quarterback Sam Huff connected with Tommy Knoll on a pass for the two-point conversion to tie the game 15-15. Neither team threatened to score in the fourth quarter.
"Going into overtime, I thought we had the momentum,'' Reedy said. "That's why I have a locker room full of kids with their hearts broken.''
* WILLIAM CAMPBELL 41, MANASSAS PARK 0: Manassas Park held host William Campbell under its season scoring average, but the Cougars fell in the Virginia A Division I Region B final in Naruna, southeast of Lynchburg.
William Campbell (12-0) entered the night averaging 51.6 points a contest, while holding opponents to under 12 points per game. The Generals, who recorded their fifth shutout of the season, will have a bye next week. They will face the Region A champion in a state semifinal.
Senior running back Price Ward, the Bull Run District offensive player of the year, was held to 20 yards rushing for Manassas Park (10-2), and sophomore quarterback Zach Terrell was held to 43 yards passing.
"They were a very good football team," Manassas Park Coach Jeff Lloyd said. "We tried everything on both sides of the ball, but we just got out-played."
* LAFAYETTE 27, CHANCELLOR 21: Stanley Charity scored four touchdowns, including a three-yard run in overtime as defending state champion Lafayette defeated Chancellor at Cooley Field in Williamsburg in the AA Division 4 Region I semifinals.
Lafayette (8-2), which squandered a 21-6 third-quarter lead, advances to the final at No. 1 seed Powhatan Nov. 30. Powhatan (11-0) defeated Grafton, 41-0.
Chancellor forced overtime despite recording only two first downs the entire game. The Chargers trailed 21-6 but rallied to tie the game on Phillip Clark's 82-yard fumble return and Darryl Lyles' 64-yard run.
In overtime, Chancellor got the ball first but had a 27-yard field goal blocked. Lafayette needed three plays to win the game.
Special correspondents Ryan O'Halloran, Will Toussaint and Colin Fitzgibbons contributed to this report.