By Jay Tidwell/Special to the Journal
OXFORD – It was a really good night for Demarkus Dennis.
The senior running back ran for 281 yards on 26 carries and scored five touchdowns to help Lafayette dismantle New Albany 50-13 on Friday night.
Dennis (5-foot-10, 198 pounds) ran for three TDs in a busy second quarter in which the Commodores (9-0, 3-0 in Division 2-4A) pulled ahead to a 30-6 halftime lead. It was the 25th consecutive victory for the Daily Journal’s top-ranked large school.
“I just want to help my team win another game and get back to the state championship and win another one,” said Dennis, who was a key part of last season’s 4A state title squad. “I’ve had plenty of good nights, but this is one of the good ones right here.”
His brother Jamel opened scoring for Lafayette with a 1-yard plunge that capped the night’s opening drive with 7:26 showing in the first quarter. After that, Demarkus took over, compiling 151 yards and scoring on runs of 25, 8 and 38 yards by intermission.
With starting quarterback Jeremy Liggins slowed by a leg injury, Dennis was a comfortable alternative for head coach Anthony Hart.
“We’re just as satisfied to hand it to Demarkus and let him go,” Hart said. “It’s a pretty good option. He’s a special back. I haven’t seen one better this year, I don’t think.”
New Albany (6-3, 2-1) managed two touchdowns – an 11-yard pass from Spencer Day to Riley Alef in the second and a 1-yard keeper by Day in the third – but was never able to get in a groove.
“They’re just so good, it’s hard to find weak spots in anything they do,” said New Albany coach Ron Price, whose squad was playing its final road game of the regular season. “(Dennis) is one of the best high school running backs I’ve seen in the last few years. Give him the game ball tonight because he played an outstanding football game.”