Magna Vista's football team was firing on all cylinders Friday night. The offense scored on its first two possessions and the defense forced three first half turnovers and held Liberty Christian Academy to just one rushing yard on the way to a 49-14 win over LCA in Lynchburg.
The Warriors' offense was dominated by senior Louis Taylor, who finished the night with five touchdowns and 97 yards rushing on 12 carries.
Taylor was playing the game at his future home. He's verbally committed to play at Liberty University in the fall. LCA and Liberty share a field.
“I felt great. First game with the fellas. It's a great way to start the season,” Taylor said after the game.
Taylor and the Warriors offense was gifted short fields thanks to the defense and special teams. Magna Vista's “Blue Funk” defense forced a 3-and-out on LCA's first possession, and a muffed punt by the Bulldogs gave the Warriors 1st down from the 18-yard line. Taylor ran in for the score on the first play.
LCA's next possession lasted just five plays before Magna Vista's Logan George forced and recovered a fumble. An LCA 15-yard penalty after the turnover put the Warriors on the 16-yard line. Taylor ran 5 yards, then 11 for his second score of the night.
“When you have players and they get offers you expect them to play big and you expect them to play big in big games,” Magna Vista Head Coach Joe Favero said of Taylor. “I know he was excited to come up here and seeing and playing on where he's going to play in college. The whole team was excited about the way he played tonight, and that's what you want. He's been working his tail off and I thought the offensive line did a great job of opening holes up for him and the wide receives blocking down field helped us tremendously as well.”
“The more we score, the crowd is into it, the team is into it. It's positive and always keeps us up,” Taylor said of the early scores. “The team will go further with momentum.”
After LCA blocked a punt on Magna Vista's next possession, the Bulldogs cut the lead in half on a 13-yard pass to Will Wycoff.
That was as close as they would get. In the second quarter, Taylor scored again from 17 yards out, Dekavis Preston returned a 25-yard interception for a touchdown, Kylan Brown scored from 12 yards out, and Taylor scored a fourth time from 5 yards out to help the Warriors go into the half up 42-14.
“I thought we executed really well,” Favero said. “Scored on our first two drives, played the way we wanted to early, and that's a credit to these kids. My seniors, I thought they did a great job of leading them and getting everybody ready.”
Magna Vista quarterback Dryus Hairston was 4-for-7 passing for 114 yards, and ran for 46 yards. Brown had nine carries for 25 yards and a score. Drew Santoemma had three catches for 77 yards, and Jacques Martin had one for 37.
LCA had one yard rushing on 19 carries. Quarterback Josh Nelson was 18-34 passing for 154 yards.
Magna Vista (1-0) will go back on the road to Dan River on Friday for a 7 p.m. game.