Lafayette clamps down on Oxford to win Crosstown title


Lafayette coach Michael Fair holds up the University Sporting Goods Crosstown Classic trophy following Friday night’s 23-3 win over Oxford. Photo by Petre Thomas

A hungry group of Lafayette Commodores feasted on the Oxford Chargers Friday night. For the first time since 2011, the Commodores are winners in the annual Crosstown Classic.

Lafayette won its first game of the 2016 season Friday night, defeating Oxford 23-3 at Bobby Holcomb Field. It was Michael Fair’s first win as the head coach of the program, and he made sure to cherish the moment with his team, family and staff following the one-sided win.

The Commodores celebrated some right after the win, but they saved their biggest party for their return home. The lights at William L. Buford Stadium were on, and the field was filled with parents and friends who welcomed the Commodores back, with the University Sporting Goods trophy in hand.

Jamarcus Quarles led the Commodores with 272 yards on 32 carries in the win. He scored two of game’s three touchdowns on runs of 35 and 72 yards. He also had a 59-yard run in the fourth quarter that set up a 5-yard pass from Lafayette quarterback Will Ard to Brandon Turnage. That scored iced the contest for the Commodores, who have been close to wins their first two weeks only to fall short in the end.

After a scoreless first quarter, Oxford took the first lead of the contest on a 38-yard field goal from Gray Jenkins with just over seven minutes left in the second quarter. After that, it was all Lafayette. The Commodores tackled Oxford tailback Hiram Wadlington in the end zone for a safety, and then used the short field on the free kick to take the lead for good.

Quarles broke free on a third-and-2 situation at the Oxford 35 to give the Commodores a lead they only added to after the half. The Chargers punted on their first four drives of the second half. Their fifth ended with an interception. By the time the Chargers had the ball a sixth time, the Commodores were up 20 with just over a minute left.

Friday was the first time since 2004 that an Oxford team failed to score a touchdown. The last time to accomplish that before Lafayette was Clarksdale.

For more on Lafayette’s win over the Chargers, see Sunday’s print edition of the Citizen and Saturday’s Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

About John Davis

Eighteen years in the business. Dedicated to providing the best local content for sports. Oxford, Lafayette, Ole Miss, youth sports, outdoors and the things nobody else wants to cover.