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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Defensive stand preserves ‘Dores’ 7-0 win over Bulldogs

BLOG — Greenwood accumulated 321 total yards in its MHSAA Class 4A second-round playoff game against Lafayette, but it was the six yards the Bulldogs didn’t get that made all the difference.

Defensive back Cam Pettis and a host of Lafayette defenders stopped Bulldog receiver Korey Robertson at the Commodores’ 6-yard line on the game’s final play to preserve a 7-0 victory Friday night at William L. Buford Stadium, keeping Lafayette’s season alive.

The play highlighted a resilient fourth quarter by the Commodores’ defense, which turned Greenwood away on each of its final three drives, all of them at least reaching Lafayette’s 27. The Bulldogs used the same play, a slip screen to Robertson, on a fourth-down play at the Commodores’ 11 two possessions earlier, but Lafayette sniffed it out to stop Robertson 2 yards shy of a first down.

Robertson, a Southern Miss verbal commit who caught nine passes for a game-high 156 yards, was a popular target for quarterback Kwadra Griggs all night. When the Bulldogs needed a touchdown with just 4 seconds left, the Lafayette defense had a pretty good idea what was coming.

“I really was (expecting the screen) because he’s their top receiver,” Pettis said. “He’s going to Southern Miss, a good player. That’s all I was waiting on, man. Had to cut him down for my team.”

The tackle moved the Commodores into a third-round home matchup with Noxubee County, which knocked Lafayette out of last year’s playoffs. Noxubee County advanced with a 28-14 win over Ripley.

“We want them as bad as they want us,” safety Eric Lewis said of next week’s game.

Lafayette, which finished with 252 total yards, broke through for the game’s only score on its initial drive of the second half as tailback Tyrell Price, who carried five times on the possession, capped an 11-play, 82-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 5:04 left in the third quarter.

But the win belonged to the defense.

“Our defense has been playing great, not giving up big plays and making a stop when they needed to,” Lafayette coach Eric Robertson said. “They were just resilient. They just kept fighting, fighting and fighting. No doubt on that fourth-and-short (on our last two possessions), we were putting it in the defense’s hands, and they just kept coming up and making a play. I’m just so proud of them.”

Complete coverage of Friday’s game will be in Monday’s edition of the EAGLE. (November 16, 2013)

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