Falls Church running back Dieon Dupont could smell the brand new synthetic field turf Thursday night against Thomas Jefferson, an aroma that had both a waft of rubber and fresh paint. It was the first time the Jaguars were running around on the surface for a game, and Dupont acknowledged that it signified a brand new start for his team.
Falls Church looked both fast and reckless at times on misty night in Northern Virginia, but in the end it was Dupont who helped his team overcome a slew turnovers and put up serious numbers for the second straight week.
The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Dupont ran for 130 yards and three touchdowns and Falls Church exploded for 36 second-half points to down Jfferson, 43-14, Thursday night.
“It was excitement. The crowd was excited, and we knew we had to get a W,” Dupont said.
Dupont scored his second touchdown of the game on the first drive of the third quarter to give the Jaguars (2-0) a 14-7 lead, and added a seven-yard rushing touchdown early in the fourth quarter to make it 21-7 after Thomas Jefferson (1-1) had fumbled deep inside its own territory.
It was the second consecutive week that Falls Church scored 43 points (won 43-27 over Annandale last week), but had to overcome five turnovers and nine penalties for 95 yards to do so. The Colonials, who were led by quarterback Tim Zhong (110 total yards) also turned the ball over five times, including on back-to-back possessions in the fourth quarter that resulted in Jaguars’ touchdowns.
Dupont added three catches for 67 yards, and Falls Church quarterback Adam Daly finished with 174 yards passing and two touchdowns.
“We just had to keep our heads up. We knew we were going to win this,” Dupont said about overcoming mistakes. “Just a lot of positivity.”
The win on the new turf didn’t come without a price. Starting defensive tackle Ed Lara was taking on a double-team in the first half when his knee buckled along the surface. The 6-foot, 290-pounder knew he had to stay down, and later in the game, he re-emerged onto the sideline on crutches.
He fears it’s his anterior cruciate ligament, he said, which would end his senior season. He didn’t take off any of his pads during the second half, opting not to show a somber sign to his teammates on an electric night, with so much optimism swirling about a fresh beginning. His teammates rewared his loyalty by mobbing him after the game, chanting “Eddy!” for several moments.
“It’s my senior year. I was doing pretty good. It’s just pretty bad,” Lara said. “I knew I just couldn’t leave. I just had to stay with them.”