Lafayette’s Jeremy Liggins was sidelined with what coach Anthony Hart considers day-to-day injury and IAHS’ Maikhail Miller was running for his life during most of the Commodores’ 28-6 win at William L. Buford Stadium.Without Liggins, sophomore Brandon Mack handled most of the quarterbacking duties, with junior running back Demarkus Dennis handling the wildcat formation early before it was scrapped by Hart.
It didn’t take long for the ‘Dores (4-0 overall) to jump out to a commanding lead against the Indians, marching 66 yards on the game’s first drive. Mack capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Mack then turned around and intercepted Miller on his second pass attempt of the following drive, and after Dennis broke off a 57-yard run, Mack tallied his second score of the day by plowing ahead for a 3-yard touchdown.
IAHS responded as Miller took it upon himself to get the Indians on the board by ricocheting LHS tacklers off of him en route to a 14-yard TD run. Miller missed the extra point, bringing the score to 14-6.
In the second half Dennis took over for the Commodores.
As the tailback, Dennis ripped off big run after big run and would score on runs of 38- and -23-yards to put the game away for Lafayette.
The key to the Commodores win came on defense, where Miler admitted he never felt completely comfortable and was unable to set his feet to throw most of the game. As a result, Miller was forced to scramble for positive yardage.
(As defensive coordinator Eric Robertson said after the game, Liggins and Miller are different types of quarterbacks. While Liggins is always a threat to break free for a long run, Miller is more of a pile mover.)
Towards the end of the game, LHS’ defensive line had taken such a toll on the Indians’ offensive line that the linemen were diving at the Commodores’ feet in an effort to at least buy Miller an extra second or two. The tactic proved to be unsuccessful.
Lafayette will return to action Friday, traveling to Center Hill for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
EXTRA THOUGHTS: Without Liggins the offense was still able to move the ball, which is definitely a good thing for the Commodores considering Hart was noncommittal when it came to the health status of Liggins. The ‘Dores opened the game in the wildcat, with Dennis as the trigger man. After the game Dennis admitted he wasn’t comfortable in shotgun and it wasn’t until he had Mack beside him at quarterback that he was able to get into a rhythm. In short, Dennis said when he was able to just take the handoff and scoot he was the most comfortable. He definitely showed his big-play ability once the change was made. On his final touchdown Dennis did his best Barry Sanders impersonation. After getting hemmed in in the back field, Dennis bounced to the LHS sideline, sidestepped a wanna-be tackler or two and spun off of another at the goal line for a 23-yard score.
SECONDARY COMES UP BIG: Jeremiah Jones and Mack, along with Tevin Buford all played big roles for the ‘Dores. When Miller was able to get a throw off more often than not, those three were right where they needed to be in coverage. Both Jones and Mack intercepted Miller, while Buford had at least two passes bounce off his hands. They were helped greatly by the pressure the front seven was able to put on Miller, but when they needed to they held their own. (September 11, 2010)