Paul Laurence Dunbar couldn't get out of the woods in the first night of high school football season. Walker Wood, that is.
Lafayette's dynamic, dual-threat junior threw for 251 yards and dashed for 143 more in a 43-21 win over the Bulldogs on Friday night.
"It was good," Lafayette Coach Eric Shaw said after the win. "We just gotta pay attention to detail. We got a little sloppy there at the end."
Wood had two touchdowns on the ground and two through the air. His biggest highlight came on a 26-yard scamper during which he dodged a few Bulldogs en route to a score with 2:44 in the first quarter that put the Generals ahead 14-0.
"That's what he does best is improvise," Shaw said. "He's very intelligent."
The Generals' lead swelled to 28-0 before Nate Gay got Dunbar on the board with a 4-yard TD run. Immediately after, Mason Alstatt shook off some tacklers on his way to a 97-yard kickoff return. Wood's two-point conversion run off a fake PAT made it 36-7 with 4:34 left in the third quarter.
Dunbar Coach Paul Rains noted Wood's elusiveness as it pertained to breaking down his defense in the first half.
"Walker Wood was a difference maker," Rains said. "We made young team mistakes on offense. We will get better."
Quinten Brown proved to be a favorite target of Wood, reeling in nine catches for 127 yards. The junior wide receiver had one TD, Lafayette's final score of the game.
Gay was a bright mark for the Bulldogs. He had 139 rushing yards and was responsible for an additional score: an 8-yard pass from Kendall Roberts.
"He is a difference maker for us," Rains said of Gay. "I thought our line gave him some nice holes."
The Bulldogs had a hard time finding their footing on offense, shuffling between senior Roberts and sophomore Gavin Bugg at quarterback. Bugg connected with Tre Homer for a 52-yard TD in the waning moments.
Derante Sanders stood out on defense for the Bulldogs, finishing with 10 tackles (nine unassisted), including one for a loss. Tejrin McCoy led the Generals with six total tackles.
"We just got some growing pains right now" to work out, Rains said.