By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
PONTOTOC – Lafayette is rolling again.
The Commodores, No. 1 in the Daily Journal’s Class 3A/4A rankings, won their third consecutive game with a 41-6 trouncing of Pontotoc on Friday night. The two-time defending state champs in Class 4A, Lafayette (5-1) have bounced back nicely since seeing its 34-game winning streak snapped by Oxford earlier this season.
The offense did its usual thing, racking up 400 yards, and the defense bounced back from a subpar outing the week before.
Lafayette limited Pontotoc (3-3) to 151 total yards and came up with four interceptions. The Warriors had just two plays of 10-plus yards through the first three quarters.
“We gave up 25 points last week to Shannon, which is uncommon,” first-year LHS coach Eric Robertson said. “Our kids wanted to come out and play well, and they did.”
The Commodores had a balanced run game, gaining 289 yards on the ground. D.K. Buford had 76 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Brandon Mack had 68 yards rushing and 111 passing.
Lafayette was up 14-0 early but gave Pontotoc chances.
Thanks to its defense, the Warriors started two possessions inside Lafayette’s 30 in the second quarter, but came away with no points. That allowed the Commodores to build on their lead.
“They get off blocks better than any team you’ll see,” Pontotoc coach Ken Byars said of Lafayette’s defense. “You have them blocked for a second, there’s a gap, and all of a sudden they swarm in there. And they’re great tacklers.”
After a fourth-and-1 conversion, Buford took a pitch right, reversed field, and scored from 13 yards for a 21-0 lead with 1:42 left in the half.
“See, I believe they already knew what we were going to do before we done it, so I just had to make something out of nothing,” Buford said.
It was his second TD of the half; the first was a 5-yarder for the first points of the game.
Pontotoc missed a field goal and committed three turnovers – all interceptions thrown by Marcus Reed – in the first half. The Warriors had only 42 yards of offense by halftime, while Lafayette had 208.
Reed’s fourth pick was returned 100 yards by Mack for a touchdown and 35-0 lead.