The defending 4A champion Commodores (15-0) used their short-yardage back to find the end zone three times in a 35-7 win and captured a berth against Laurel Saturday in the MHSAA Class 4A championship, their third straight appearance.
Amory's season ends at 11-4 after winning only six games the previous two seasons.
Lafayette linebacker and primary third down back Jamel Dennis rushed for 60 yards on eight rushes, three trips into the end zone. Lafayette's defense sacked Amory QB Forest Williams eight times and held the Panthers, who throw for nearly 400 yards per game, to 195 passing yards.
"We watched what other people did and (defensive coordinator Eric) Robertson and that defensive staff, they chose to rush three because we feel like our three are real good," Lafayette coach Anthony Hart said. "We dropped a lot of guys in coverage and thought that was the way to go."
It wasn't until the final minute of the first quarter that D.K. Buford broke free for a 22-yard TD run for the game's first score for Lafayette.
A second-quarter turnover led to a 14-0 lead. Williams was picked by Brandon Mack who took it 21 yards to the 6. Dennis scored on a 2-yard run to give his team a 14-0 lead.
The Dores went up 21-0 before the half on Dennis' 3-yard run with 2:10 to play.
The Panthers held Dandy Dozen quarterback Jeremy Liggins to 26 yards on nine carries while 2,000-yard back Demarkous Dennis had 50 yards on 16 touches.
Williams led a 98-yard scoring drive that ended with Dario Robinson's 7-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 21-7 in the third, but saw three possessions in the quarter start from the 2, 3 and 8 yard lines thanks to kicker Tyler Jackson's punting.
Williams, who came into the game leading the nation in passing yards, was 19 of 45 for 195 yards, putting him at 5,111 for the season.
Lafayette answered two possessions later to open the fourth. On third-and-2, Dennis raced 36 yards for a 28-7 lead.
"There were some things we didn't do but a lot of that can be attributed to them," Amory coach Trent Hammond said. "We missed some opportunities but three months from now, we'll look back and say it was a great year. Tonight it hurts."
Less than two minutes later, the Dores scored their second TD after an Amory turnover, this one on Liggins' 20-yard pass to Mack after Fred Garth lost the handle on a kickoff.