CLEVELAND – Lafayette quarterback Devin Thomas passed and rushed the Commodores into the MHSAA Class 4A state championship game with his performance on Friday against Cleveland.
The homestanding Wildcats had no answer for Thomas and Lafayette’s offense and fell 42-19 in the North state final.
Thomas passed for two touchdowns and rushed for two in the victory.
“Devin is a good manager of the game and tonight he was able to see what they gave him,” Lafayette second-year coach Eric Robertson said. “We haven’t pitched the ball on the option much lately, but Cleveland gave it to us and he did a good job of pitching the ball at the right time and pulling it when he needed to.
“He made some big plays on third down for us and some big passes for us.”
Lafayette (10-5), which has won seven straight games, will play Forrest County AHS in the 4A state championship game at 3 p.m. Saturday in Jackson.
The Commodores opened the game with a five-play, 67-yard drive that culminated in an 18-yard touchdown pass from Thomas to Landon Busby.
Cleveland tied the score at 7-7 on the next possession with a seven-play, 65-yard drive that ended in a 13-yard touchdown run from Vaughnte Dorsey.
Lafayette increased its lead to 14-7 on a 14-yard rushing score from Rashun Rockette with 5:10 remaining in the first quarter.
Lafayette forced a turnover, then added another score as Thomas connected with Rockette for a 31-yard touchdown pass with 10:15 to go in the second quarter. The TD gave the Commodores a 21-7 lead.
Cleveland later answered with a 35-yard pass, but Lafayette responded with a three-play, 53-yard drive that ended with Thomas scoring on a 16-yard run to give his team a 28-13 halftime lead.
In the second half, Cleveland scored on its opening possession on a 3-yard run from Andonte Maxie, but missed on the 2-point conversion attempt.
The Wildcats could not get any closer.
Lafayette added two late touchdowns, one a 31-yard scamper by Thomas. The other was a 45-yard pass interception return by Vincent Lewis to seal the win.