De La Salle running back Cole Lewis had incentive to get the Cavaliers off and running Friday night against Thomas Jefferson.
Lewis, who was De La Salle’s homecoming king, knew he’d be busy at halftime and there’d be less time for locker-room strategy talk.
Behind Lewis, a 220-pound wrecking ball, De La Salle took a commanding four-touchdown lead by halftime on its way to a 49-0 steamrolling at Tad Gormley Stadium.
Cole found out Friday at school about being chosen king. During a pep-rally speech, he promised good things would happen during the game.
“I told everyone I’d follow my blocking and they would lead me to the end zone, and that’s what we did,” said Lewis, a senior who had 163 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on 14 carries. “Our offensive line did a lot of down-blocking.
“Today was pretty good, from the king to the game.”
The Jaguars (3-1) were looking to go to 4-0 for the first time in the six-year existence of the football program.
Most of the damage by Lewis, who was coming off a 215-yard, three-touchdown performance against Hannan, was done in the first half Friday.
Running behind De La Salle’s big offensive line, Lewis rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries in the first half, as the Cavaliers (3-1) built a 28-0 lead in the nondistrict game between two Class 3A schools.
On its first possession, De La Salle drove 81 yards in eight plays to take a 7-0 lead on Lewis’ 1-yard touchdown run four minutes into the game. Lewis gained 63 yards on six carries during the drive.
He scored on an 11-yard run at the 2:03 mark and on one of 7 yards at 9:29 of the second quarter to stake the Cavs to a 21-0 bulge. That score was set up by the second of two first-half interceptions by De La Salle safety Da’vante Lebranch, who returned the ball from the Jefferson 21 to the 5.
Quincy Cage’s 11-yard sweep left capped De La Salle’s first-half scoring with 6:05 showing.
Jefferson came into the game with a balanced offensive attack, according to Jaguars coach Kevin Kelly. However, it leaned on the pass for much of the first half and could not mount drives. Quarterback Tyler Lavergne was 3-of-10 in the first half for 12 yards and the two interceptions.
After De La Salle built its big margin, Jefferson had some success running the ball with 200-pound back Donte Sincere, who gained 68 yards on 10 carries, much of it during a last-minute drive before halftime.
“We probably should have run the ball more,” Kelly said. “We didn’t do anything offensively, and their offensive line was just very physical.”
The Cavaliers opened the second half with a 90-yard, nine-play drive, with Lewis scoring for the fourth time on a 10-yard sweep right.