By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
ECRU – With starting quarterback Brandon Mack nursing an injury, DK Buford had the answers.
Buford ran for a pair of touchdowns and passed for another to lead Lafayette to a lopsided 38-0 win against North Pontotoc to close out the regular season for both teams on Thursday night.
The ’Dores secured the second seed from Division 2-4A with the victory, while the Vikings must await the outcome of tonight’s district games before making postseason plans.
“It felt really good running the ball, and I’m 100 percent,” said Buford, a junior, who had 14 carries for 131 yards. “I’ve taken some reps (as QB) in practice, but not really any in a game until tonight.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Lafayette (9-2, 4-1) pounded ahead for 17 points in the second.
The surge was aided by four consecutive turnovers by North Pontotoc (6-5, 2-3) to end the half.
Buford scored on a 5-yard run and later tossed an 11-yard TD pass to Joshua Barry with just over a minute until the break. Meanwhile, Ryan Holland added a 20-yard field goal and the ’Dores defense took control.
“We went in pretty much without a quarterback and weren’t sure how they were going to respond,” said Lafayette coach Eric Robertson. “It took a little bit for DK to get used to it, because he hasn’t done it in a game. Then we got to moving the ball.”
Mack, injured four weeks ago, shared time with Buford in the first half.
North Pontotoc was held scoreless for the first time this season. QB Trey Jolly was also limited to a season-low 4 of 12 passing for 53 yards and two interceptions, and sat out the second half with an injury.
“They got to wearing on us and a lot of our guys go both ways,” said North Pontotoc coach Brian Sutton. “We’ve got a lot of guys that are pretty banged up.”