A fast start and a late defensive stand proved to be enough to lift the Lafayette Commodores to a 24-14 win over the Oxford Chargers in ninth-grade football action Monday night at William L. Buford Stadium. Led by the running and passing of quarterback Eli Murphree, the Commodores jumped out to a 16-0 lead at the half.
Murphree scored the game’s first touchdown on a 5-yard run and then added to the score with a successful 2-point conversion.
Murphree then put the Commodores (4-1 overall) ahead with a 55-yard touchdown toss to Hunter Bishop with 21 seconds left in the half. Murphree then plowed through the middle of the line to score the 2-point conversion.
Oxford was able to recover from the fast start by Lafayette thanks to back-to-back turnovers to start the third quarter. A fumble by Tavon Joiner was picked up by Elonte Owens and returned 35 yards for a touchdown. Michael McGhee then found K.T. McCollin for a successful 2-point play to cut the Lafayette lead in half.
Oxford got an interception on Lafayette’s next offensive snap at the Lafayette 35-yard line and then scored on a 30-yard run from D.K. Hutchins with just 9:27 left in the third quarter. The 2-point failed and that was as close as the Chargers got the rest of the night.
Lafayette recovered from its back-to-back turnovers by running the ball better on offense while also slowing the Chargers’ offense. Lafayette gave itself some needed breathing room with a 29-yard touchdown run by Joiner with 6:25 left to play in the fourth quarter and then forced a turnover on downs the next drive.
Lafayette recovered an Oxford fumble late in the fourth quarter and then had the Chargers pinned inside their end zone forcing a safety on the last play of the game.
Despite the loss, Oxford coach Jason Russell was more pleased with the results compared to the first time the two teams played, which resulted in a 28-6 win by Lafayette. (October 4, 2011, Page 6)