With Lavaca’s offense stymied on its first two possessions Friday, coach Mark Headley went in a different direction.
He put tailback Anthony Todaro in at quarterback and the move paid off for the Golden Arrows. Todaro engineered two first-half touchdown drives before scoring three TDs in the second half to beat Danville 41-14 in 3A-4 action.
“Hayden (Headley, the regular quarterback) had gotten hurt last week and so we put in a new package with (Todaro) this week,” Mark Headley said. “He’s our normal tailback all the time and had a big year for us and I knew that we may have to change things up a little bit, and I thought he did a great job, obviously.
“But that was a new package we put in this week.”
Todaro finished with 190 yards on 29 carries and the three second-half TDs. Also with 100 yards was running back Coby Graves, who scored the two Lavaca TDs in the first half.
“(Todaro) has been over 100 yards every game this year and he’s the one who’s (coming through) as a senior, him and Coby, and our linemen did a great job (Friday),” Headley said. “I also liked the energy we played with the second half, they really came out with a lot of energy and I thought our line on both sides was physical.
“That made a difference in the second half. We started wearing them down a little bit and I thought our defense was playing lights out.”
Todaro was inserted at quarterback with Lavaca (4-3, 2-2) trailing 7-0 late in the first quarter. He began igniting the Arrows, who went 76 yards to tie the score. After Lavaca got the ball back following a punt, Lavaca went 68 yards in four plays to take a 14-7 lead before Danville tied it going into the half.
The Arrows, however, took control in the second half by scoring on their first four possessions — the first three ended with TD runs by Todaro. Following a Danville punt on the first series of the second half, Todaro took a keeper and darted 55 yards into the end zone, finishing a six-play 84-yard drive which put Lavaca up by six, 20-14.
Danville (2-5, 0-4) went three-and-out on the next series and was forced to punt. Lavaca put together a lengthy 67-yard drive, which covered 12 plays. Once again, Todaro — who was playing running back on the final play of the series — got the call as he went in from 7 yards out which extended Lavaca’s lead to 26-14.
Todaro scored again four plays after the Arrows recovered a fumble in Danville territory. His last TD covered 7 yards on a keeper. Todaro then ran in the 2-point conversion, which gave Lavaca a comfortable 20-point margin with 11:15 left.
The Arrows made it a perfect 4-for-4 with TDs on their second-half possessions when tailback Austin Douglas went in from 4 yards with 1:46 left. Todaro added the PAT for the final margin.
“Danville came out and had a good gameplan and I thought they were playing hard,” Headley said. “I challenged our kids at halftime and they came out (in the second half) and they were playing real physical I thought, and that’s what made the difference.”
After Danville scored on its second series of the game late in the first quarter, the Arrows — with Todaro in at quarterback — built a 76-yard scoring drive in response. The Arrows completed the drive when Graves darted up the middle from 8 yards out and Todaro’s PAT evened the score at 7 with more than nine minutes left in the opening half.
Lavaca forced a punt on the ensuing series, got the ball back and proceeded to put together another TD drive with Todaro playing quarterback. This time, it was a quick four-play drive covering 68 yards, the last 45 coming when Graves scored his second TD of the night on another run up the middle.
Todaro tacked on the PAT that put Lavaca in front 14-7 with 4:24 left until halftime.
But the Little Johns answered on their next series by going 80 yards in seven plays to tie it at 14 with more than a minute left before intermission.
SUMMARY — Lavaca broke a 14-14 halftime tie by scoring touchdowns on all four possessions in the second half.
TURNING POINT — Lavaca’s Anthony Todaro scored on a 55-yard quarterback keeper on the Golden Arrows’ first series of the second half which put them ahead to stay.
STAT — Todaro rushed for 190 yards on 29 carries and scored three TDs, all in the second half.
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Lavaca 41, Danville 14
Danville 7 7 0 0 — 14
Lavaca 0 14 12 15 — 41
Dan — Cathey 41 pass from Wilkins (Ramirez kick), 1:34.
Lav — C. Graves 8 run (Todaro kick), 9:06.
Lav — C. Graves 45 run (Todaro kick), 4:24.
Dan — Wilkins 9 run (Ramirez kick), 1:31.
Lav — Todaro 55 run (pass failed), 8:03.
Lav — Todaro 7 run (run failed), 1:16.
Lav — Todaro 7 run (Todaro run), 11:15.
Lav — Douglas 4 run (Todaro kick), 1:46.
First Downs 12 22
Rushes-Yards 30-142 55-420
Passing Yards 18 59
Comp-Att-Int 10-18-0 5-9-0
Punts-Avg. 4-34.3 1-50
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 3-0
Penalties-Yards 5-25 5-40
RUSHING — Danville, Cathey 18-60, King 4-47, Wilkins 6-33, Lopez 1-3, Team 1-(minus-1); Lavaca, Todaro 29-190, C. Graves 8-100, Douglas 6-68, Brown 7-36, Neimann 3-21, L. Graves 1-7, Team 1-(minus-2).
PASSING — Danville, Wilkins 10-18-0 118; Lavaca, Todaro 4-7-0 48, L. Graves 1-2-0 11.
RECEIVING — Danville, Cathey 4-63, Ramirez 2-46, Xayadeth 2-11, Millard 1-3, Lopez 1-(minus-5); Lavaca, C. Graves 4-44, Brown 1-15.