BLOG — It wasn’t pretty or dry, but in the end, it was a win for Lafayette.
With both teams fighting through a driving rain that began shortly before kickoff and only got stronger throughout the night, the Commodores (3-2 overall) produced a field goal and the game’s only touchdown in the second half to notch a 10-0 victory at Shannon in a game dominated by defense and Mother Nature.
Both teams struggled to hold on to the ball from the start. If the offenses weren’t botching snaps amid the constant downpour or losing their footing among the countless standing puddles, they were giving the ball away. Shannon committed one turnover while Lafayette coughed up possession five times, including fumbling four times.
Four of those takeaways gave the Red Raiders possession in Lafayette territory, but the Commodore defense turned Shannon away each time. The teams played to a scoreless tie at the half before the Lafayette offense helped its defense out, moving the ball to the Shannon 4-yard line late in the third quarter to set up a 21-yard field goal from Ryan Holland.
Lafayette turned the ball over on its next two possessions, but the defense stood firm again. The Commodore offense held on to the ball long enough in the fourth quarter to put the game away with an eight-play drive capped by a Devon Thomas 1-yard sneak to give Lafayette a 10-0 lead with 1:45 remaining in the game.
Lafayette entered Friday’s game averaging 17.5 points per contest, a figure Lafayette coach Eric Robertson said earlier this week he wanted to see his offense improve on. But the conditions made for a defensive struggle, and Robertson was more than happy with what he saw from his unit.
“Our defense played great. Their backs were against the wall,” he said. “Shannon had several opportunities inside the red zone, and the defense just stepped up, played extremely hard and made stops when they had to.
“We’d get down there (in Shannon territory) and turn the ball over, and unfortunately, that’s part of these type of weather games, but we just kept at it and found a way to get a win. I’m extremely proud of the defense.”
Shannon, which started five drives in Commodore territory, finished with just 80 yards of offense. Lafayette tallied 242 total yards after gaining just 50 in the first half.
Sorry, but there’s no video interview to accompany this blog. I wasn’t about to pull out my iPhone in a torrential downpour.
Check Monday’s print edition of the EAGLE for full coverage of tonight’s game.
(September 21, 2013)