BLOG — Lafayette combined strong running from tailbacks D.K. Buford and Tyrell Price with mistake-free football to take a quick 7-0 lead on Memphis University School Friday night.
But the Commodores couldn’t continue that combination.
Lafayette didn’t find the end zone again as MUS scored the game’s final five touchdowns to post a 35-7 victory over the Commodores at William L. Buford Stadium. Lafayette dropped to 3-3 overall while MUS improved to 4-2.
MUS, Tennessee’s defending Division II, Class AA runner-up, is one of the more talented teams Lafayette will run across this season, but the Commodores caused a lot of trouble for themselves with mistakes after their opening drive.
A facemask penalty helped MUS move into the red zone during its first scoring drive at the start of the second quarter. The Lafayette offense was then flagged three different times to halt the momentum of its third possession, setting up the Owls with prime field position after punting from their own 8-yard line. MUS took advantage with a short five-play, 46-yard drive to take the lead for good at 14-7 on a Colton Neel 9-yard touchdown run with 6:28 left before halftime.
The miscues continued in the second half as the Lafayette defense was flagged for an illegal chop on the first play of the third quarter, moving MUS into Commodore territory. A play later, MUS quarterback James Sexton found wide receiver Devin Perry for a 45-yard touchdown down the left sideline to put the Owls up 21-7.
The Owls made explosive plays a common theme against the Lafayette defense, adding touchdowns of 68 and 72 yards.
Lafayette racked up 301 total yards of offense — 182 of those coming on the ground — but the Commodores were flagged a total of eight times for 53 yards and committed a pair of turnovers. MUS’s big-play ability along with the mishaps turned into a recipe for disaster for the Commodores.
“You can’t make mistakes against a good team, and we did that,” said Lafayette coach Eric Robertson, whose squad begins Region 2-4A play against Ripley next week. “It’s like I told our kids. We’re going to continue to play these good teams because playing these good teams, we think, is what’s going to help us get where we want to be. Now we’ve got to carry that over into region play next week.
“You just can’t give up big plays against anybody. They got behind us, and they made some big plays. We just weren’t able to overcome them.”
Rashaun Rockette was Lafayette’s leading rusher with seven carries for 88 yards. Quarterback Devon Thomas went 8-for-11 for 119 yards and ran five times for 14 yards, including a 1-yard keeper for the Commodores’ only score.
Check Monday’s print edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage of Friday’s game. (September 28, 2013)