AMORY — The games don’t count yet, but Lafayette’s defense already looks like it’s in midseason form.
The Commodores tuned up for the regular season with a 7-0 victory over Amory in a two-quarter varsity jamboree Friday night. Lafayette’s defense gave the offense extra chances to score, and the Commodores finally broke a scoreless tie on Tay Tay Owens’ 9-yard touchdown run with 1:19 left in the scrimmage.
“I thought the defense played really well,” Lafayette coach Eric Robertson said. “They tackled well and ran to the ball well. And that was the main thing we were looking for, running to the football.”
Lafayette gave up less than 50 yards and turned the Panthers over three times with a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery. The Commodores also stuffed Amory on fourth-and-short to halt one drive and preserved the shutout on the scrimmage’s final play when linebacker Quin Jones blocked a field goal.
“We had to (keep the shutout),” Jones said. “We’re just trying to keep that zero on the board. We love seeing zeroes up there on the board for the other team.”
A flurry of flags made it difficult for either offense to get in a rhythm. The teams combined for 11 penalties in what equated to one half of play, one of which negated a 14-yard touchdown run by Rashuan Rockette earlier in the final quarter.
But Lafayette forced a punt, and the Commodores mounted a six-play, 45-yard drive capped by Owens’ dart up the middle to take the lead for good.
Owens finished with six carries for 58 yards while fellow tailback Tavon Joiner rushed five times for 25 yards. Quarterback Devon Thomas went 2-for-9 for 28 yards. His backup, Will Ard, completed both of his passes for 23 yards.
Lafayette will open its season next Friday at home against Tupelo.
JV ‘Dores get win
A half of junior varsity action preceded the varsity scrimmage with Lafayette winning 20-12.
The Commodores scored all of their points in the first quarter. Ard ran for a 7-yard touchdown and threw for two more, connecting with Xavier Martin from 38 yards out and Dillon Woods from 20 yards out to give Lafayette a 20-6 lead. Amory scored its final touchdown with 32 seconds left.
Ard went 5-for-5 for 102 yards. Woods caught four of those passes for 64 yards. Jordan Harmon led Lafayette on the ground with 49 yards on seven carries.
See Monday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage from Friday’s game. (August 16, 2014)