By John Wilbert/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – The top-ranked Lafayette High Commodores didn’t need one of their best offensive players on Thursday night against North Pontotoc.
Sitting out for all but 2 minutes, 45 seconds of the first half due to an ejection last week vs. Senatobia, star running back Demarkous Dennis rode the exercise bike on the sideline to get loose as his team scored 35 points without him.
Dennis did contribute, however, to his team’s 49-7 dismantling of the Vikings. He rushed for 60 yards on his first snap, and later found the end zone from 19 yards out in the third quarter.
“They’ve been playing wonderful all year,” Dennis said of his team’s offense. “They held it down for me.”
The Commodores outgained the Vikings 381-15 in the first half. Jeremy Liggins completed 6 of 9 passes for 150 yards and three TDs in the half.
Brandon Mack had touchdown receptions of 44 and 38 yards, and Colby Terrell caught a 15-yarder just before halftime. Terrell even had an interception on defense.
Liggins also rushed eight times for 57 yards and two scores. D.K. Buford had 12 carries for 120 yards and a TD.
“We got some new guys doing things – DeBrico Burgess, Colby Terrell, D.K. Buford – you know, just some different kids making plays for us,” said Lafayette head coach Anthony Hart. “Not just Demarkous and Jeremy, and that’s big for us.”
The win clinched the MHSAA Division 2-4A title for the ‘Dores (11-0, 5-0), and it also capped off their second consecutive undefeated regular season. They went 16-0 en route to winning the Class 4A state championship in 2010.
“This group of seniors, so far, has won 41 games in three years,” Hart said. “And I thought tonight was important to them since it was ‘Senior Night.'”
The Vikings (9-2, 3-2) scored in the fourth quarter when Caleb Mills found Adrian Davis in the right-hand corner of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown reception.
“Defensively, they shut us down inside. We couldn’t get any of our running game going,” Vikings head coach Brian Sutton said.
The loss means the Vikings will play Noxubee County in Round 1 of the playoffs next week. The ‘Dores will host Leake Central next Friday.