Lavatai throws 3 TD passes, runs for 2 scores in Creekside’s 56-12 win over Paxon

WILL.BROWN@STAUGUSTINE.COM Creekside junior quarterback Tai Lavatai, whown here in preseason practice, accounted for five first-half touchdowns as the Knights cruised to a 56-12 win Thursday at Paxon. Lavatai rushed for 71 yards and passed for 151 yards.




Star of the Game: Junior quarterback Tai Lavatai accounted for five first-half touchdowns — three passing and two rushing – as Creekside (2-1) scored on its first eight possessions in a 56-12 victory at Paxon (2-1). Lavatai had 221 yards total offense in the first half and has passed for nine TDs with no interceptions in three games this season.

Turning Point: After exchanging touchdowns to start the game, Creekside drove 50 yards with senior J.T. Wood, starting at tailback for the first time in his playing career, scoring from 6 yards out for a 14-6 lead. That started the onslaught as Creekside scored on drives of 65, 50, 48, 75, 51, 60 5 and 37 yards in the first half to force a running clock in the second half.

On Defense: Creekside recovered two Paxon fumbles and intercepted a pass in the first half. Junior linebacker Trey Chesser forced a fumble and recovered it late in the half and senior linebacker Dallas Pucci intercepted a pass. Senior defensive back Vance Bennett blocked an extra point and scored his first career offensive touchdown to start the second half.

Fast Facts: Wood (71 yards rushing and a 75-yard TD reception) played running back to help fill a void in the backfield. Senior Connor Cline transferred to Bolles before the season and senior Tyrique Wheatley, a transfer from Michigan and the son of former Michigan All-American RB and current Jaguars RB coach Tyrone Wheatley, suffered a foot injury in preseason. … Creekside rushed for 275 yards. … Lavatai was 5-for-7 passing for 151 yards and rushed for 71 yards. … Paxon senior running back Elijah Shingles rushed for 65 yards and Paxon’s first-half TD.

They Said It: “We had to make the best use of our personnel. We felt like we had more big bodies in tonight’s game, so we tightened things up and ran downhill. We put J.T. (Wood) back there and made sure he touched it. It allowed us to put our best players out there.” — Creekside coach Sean McIntyre

– Ward Clayton,



Creekside 56, Paxon 12

Creekside 14 35 7 0 — 56

Paxon 6 0 6 0 — 12

First quarter

C-Lavatai 2 run (Marchand kick)

P-Shingles 1 run (kick blocked)

C-Wood 6 run (Marchand kick)

Second quarter

C-Lavatai 21 run (Marchand kick)

C-Wood 75 pass from Lavatai (Marchand kick)

C-Rusamaroff 1 run (Marchand kick)

C-O’Hara 35 passs from Lavatai (Marchand kick)

C-O’Hara 5 pass from Lavatai (Marchand kick)

Third quarter

C-Bennett 37 run (Marchand kick)

P-Knighton 24 pass from Baclig (run failed)

Individual leaders

RUSHING: Creekside: Lavatai 9-71, Rusamaroff 3-60, Bennett 3-60, Wood 9-59; Paxon: Shingles 7-65, Owens 5-49, Baclig 7-29.

Passing: Creekside: Lavatai 5-7-0, 151; Paxon: Baclig 10-15-1, 70.

Receiving: Creekside: Wood 2-87, O’Hara 3-64, Calhoun 1-24; Paxon: Knighton 2-24, Shingles 3-24, Brown 3-20.

Records: Creekside 2-1; Paxon 2-1

Bishop Kenny 21, Nease 20

BK 7 7 7 0 — 21

Nease 0 0 0 20 — 20

Records: Bishop Kenny 3-0; Nease 1-2

Bartram Trail 49, Clay 28

Clay 7 7 7 7 — 28

Bartram 7 14 21 7 — 49

Records: Clay 1-2; Bartram Trail 2-1