Isaiah White was anxious for this game -- more so than for any other before. A season opener at home to begin his senior year, and finally the talented tailback was healthy. The Longwood star was slowed by a concussion two years ago, and a fractured right hip cost him all but three games last season.
White's body is reinvigorated, but he entered Friday night emotionally drained. His uncle, David Brown, died Tuesday and he attended the funeral Thursday, shortly before a team meeting.
"We were close," White said of his uncle. "He used to spoil me and buy me shoes all the time . . . This week was rough, so I couldn't wait to play, be with my team and take my mind off it."
As it so often does, the field offered a respite. It also provided White a platform to showcase what Longwood longed for in his absence.
He dazzled, showing burst, power and elusiveness in racking up 164 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, leading the Lions over Brentwood, 49-0, in Suffolk I football.
"We couldn't be more excited for Isaiah," first-year Longwood coach Jeff Cipp said. "He showed everybody what we all think he's capable of."
As did senior fullback Malcolm Stowe, who ran for 147 yards and a score and was stout at linebacker, helping the Lions dominate both sides.
This was a matchup of the preseason fourth and fifth seeds, as the teams had 3-6 records. But Longwood -- along with a 42-7 drubbing in last year's meeting -- shows there's a considerable divide.
"We can be dominant," linebacker Marquise Marshall said. "I think we're great, it's just a matter of proving it repeatedly."
White's 49-yard TD scamper put Longwood on the board late in the first quarter. He exploded off right guard with great blocking, juked left and outran the pursuit. He scored again on a sweep left from 4 yards in the second, and Stowe's two-point conversion run made it 14-0.
Marquis Simpson hit Jelani Green for a 33-yard TD on a fade, then Stowe had a 35-yard TD run just before halftime. Jamal Schuman's 4-yard TD plunge created the margin with 5:53 remaining. Andrew Ferriolo and Sean Rausch each had an interception for the Lions.
"This was great for everybody, especially Isaiah," said Stowe, White's best friend. "Getting on the field gave 'Zay' a chance to relax a little, and he did his thing."