BLOG — Lafayette ran 43 offensive plays in its season opener against Tupelo Friday night. The Golden Wave’s defense didn’t let the Commodores do much on any of them.
Lafayette mustered just 91 yards of offense in a 20-0 loss to Tupelo at William L. Buford Stadium. Tupelo also forced the Commodores into three turnovers, including Demaris Wise’s 65-yard pick-six on the game’s final play, turning the matchup of state championship game participants from a season ago into a one-sided affair.
“(Our defense) was on the field all night, and the whole second half basically they were on the field,” Lafayette coach Eric Robertson said. “We’ve got to get better on offense. We’ve got to find a way to move the ball and get them off the field.”
Five of Lafayette’s possessions were over in three plays against a Golden Wave defense that surrendered just 10 points a game last season. A fumble and a pair of interceptions ended three others. The Commodores’ longest play went for 19 yards.
Lafayette quarterback Devon Thomas finished 6 of 14 for 44 yards with both interceptions while backup Will Ard didn’t complete any of his three attempts. Tay Tay Owens was Lafayette’s leading rusher with 31 yards on 12 carries.
“We’re trying to teach them to swarm to that football and try to make a play,” Tupelo coach Trent Hammond said of his defense.
But Lafayette’s offense had some chances to help out.
After Tupelo struck first on Alex Norwood’s 2-yard touchdown run with 1:25 left in the first quarter, the Commodores were handed prime field position when Tupelo’s Jarren McKenzie muffed a punt at the Golden Wave’s 13-yard line. But the next three plays netted just nine yards, and Ard was stuffed on a fourth-down sneak to turn the ball over on downs.
Thomas missed a wide-open Landon Busby on a wheel route later in the half that may have gone for a touchdown, and the Commodores trailed 7-0 at the break.
Tupelo finished with 299 yards of offense, accumulating most of those in the second half against a weary Commodore defense. Running back Deamio Garmon, who had 82 yards on 14 carries, delivered the knockout blow with a 39-yard touchdown run with 6:15 left in the game.
Lafayette will stay at home next Friday with a matchup against Corinth.
See Monday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage from Friday’s game. (August 22, 2014)