Smithfield drops heartbreaker to Lafayette

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 11, 2007

SMITHFIELD—In a matchup between two of the best teams in the Bay Rivers District, it came down to one play for all the marbles here Friday night.

T.J. Ptachick intercepted a Dyrell Roberts pass with less than a minute remaining to secure a 16-13 win for Lafayette over Smithfield at Packer Field. The Rams (2-0, 1-0) came up with the defensive stop with their backs against the goal line and Smithfield threatening to score.

&uot;I saw (Roberts) rolling out, and I saw him pulling the ball up,&uot; Ptachick said. &uot;I knew I had to get back. When I looked up, I saw the ball in the air and I grabbed it.&uot;

Roberts, who has committed to Virginia Tech as a wide receiver, gained 142 yards on 27 carries despite being the focus of the Smithfield defense.

&uot;We knew stopping Dyrell Roberts would be a struggle, but we hung in there until the end,&uot; Lafayette coach Paul Wheeler said after the game. &uot;He’s a great player, and that’s why he’s going to Division 1.&uot;

Earlier in the game, Roberts returned a second-quarter punt 99 yards for a touchdown that gave Smithfield a 13-9 lead with 1:14 remaining before halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter Lafayette answered with a 99-yard drive that Garrott Piggott finished with an 8-yard touchdown run with less than 10 minutes left in the game. The key play was a 49-yard option pass from Matt Mares to Ptachick on third-and-long.

Down by three, the Packers (1-1, 0-1) took over at their own 24-yard line and proceeded to feed the Rams a steady diet of Roberts, who gained 60 yards on the final drive. Smithfield had a first-and-goal on the 2 but failed to score after three running plays.

Smithfield head coach Chris Fraser decided to go with an option pass.

&uot;We had to try something,&uot; Fraser said about the final play. &uot;They were keying on him. They made the play and we didn’t. That’s the bottom line.&uot;