By Blake Long
Special to the Journal
FULTON – Eric Robertson once again has a group of dangerous weapons primed to unleash in postseason play.
Tyrell Price ran for 151 yards on 28 carries to lift Lafayette County to a 24-12 victory over Itawamba AHS in a MHSAA Class 4A playoff opener on Friday at Indian Stadium.
Price and Ole Miss commit DK Buford combined for nearly 250 all-purpose yards to lead a Commodore team that improved to 10-1 in the month of November over the past four seasons.
“Tyrell has really become a workhorse,” said Robertson, Lafayette’s second-year head coach. “He’s gotten seasoned and a lot better. Our players have a lot of confidence in him.
“Having DK to throw in there to give him a break is a good one-two punch.”
Focus on Buford
Itawamba’s defense keyed on Buford, with over half of his carries going for less than two yards. Luke Douglas, Joe Farnham and others tag teamed the Division I recruit.
“They saw it as a challenge facing one of the best athletes in the state of Mississippi,” Indians coach Toby Collums said. “I thought for the most part we came out and played lights out on defense.”
Buford did make an impact with two touchdowns, the first a 9-yard sprint that gave the Commodores (7-5) a 7-6 lead that it would take to halftime.
He capped the contest with a short scoring run that accounted for Lafayette’s final points.
Price, a sophomore, ended a near five-minute drive to begin the second half with a 6-yard touchdown carry to put the Commodores ahead 14-6.
Two long pass plays by quarterback Vijay Miller allowed the Indians (7-4) to get into the end zone. Quamayne Shumpert caught a screen pass at the line of scrimmage and then raced 73 yards to put Itawamba up 6-0 early in the second quarter.
A pump fake by Miller allowed Tylon Ward to shoot past a defender and catch a 61-yard TD to get the Indians as close as nine in the game’s waning moments.