By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
The only sure thing in Division 2-4A football is that New Albany is the division champ.
The three other playoff spots are decided, but Lafayette, North Pontotoc and Lewisburg don’t know where they’ll land in the standings.
Lafayette, the Journal’s No. 4-ranked Class 3A/4A team, is at North Pontotoc tonight in the final regular season game for each. Commodores coach Eric Robertson believes the winner will spend the first round of the playoffs at home. The rest of the division will be settled Friday.
That’s just one motivating factor for North Pontotoc (6-4, 2-2).
“There are a lot of incentives,” North coach Brian Sutton said. “We haven’t been able to beat them. The kids are excited about playing them. They want to try to do something that hasn’t been done over here.”
Lafayette (8-2, 3-1) won 49-7 last season en route to its second straight Class 4A championship. The ’Dores look different now but are still a running football team. QB Brandon Mack and running back D.K. Buford carry the load with a combined 1,379 yards and 25 touchdowns.
North Pontotoc is more of a throwing attack behind junior quarterback Trey Jolly and receiver Marcus Green. Green has 885 yards and 10 of Jolly’s 25 touchdown passes.
Born to run
“We’ve got to be able to run the football. They’re capable of scoring a lot of points and have great wide receivers, especially Marcus Green,” Robertson said. “We can’t give up big plays. We’re treating this like a playoff game.”
Lafayette has two losses – Oxford and New Albany – this season after back-to-back 16-0 years.
“They graduated some key players but they’ve still got speed and can hurt you if you make mistakes,” Sutton said. “We’ve got to play good defense, try to shut down their run. We don’t need to have a lot of three-and-outs.”