Both the Oxford Chargers and the Water Valley Blue Devils will hit the road tonight in search of wins that will extend their respective seasons.
For Oxford, the Chargers will travel to face the Pearl Pirates on the road for the second consecutive postseason, while the Blue Devils will head to Ruleville Central for a second-round matchup against the Region 3-3A’s No. 4 seed. (November 12, 2010, Page 6A)
The No. 1 Commodores (12-0 overall) host the Wildcats (8-4) Friday night at William L. Buford Stadium, a year after defeating them in the second round last season at home.
Louisville, the No. 2 seed out of Region 4-4A, has won seven of its last eight games, including defeating Amanda Elzy 32-8 last week. The Wildcats are coached by M.C. Miller, who was most recently at Noxubee County and helped build that program into one of the best in the state. (November 11, 2010, Page 6)
After a slow start in the first quarter, the Lafayette Commodores rattled off 49 unanswered points to claim a 49-7 victory over the North Pontotoc Vikings in the Class 4A, first-round playoff meeting at William L. Buford Stadium. (November 8, 2010, Page 6B)
The Lafayette cross country team closed its season on a high note over the weekend as the girls placed second and the boys took sixth-place in the Class 4A State Cross Country Meet held at Choctaw Trails in Clinton.
For the girls, Pontotoc placed first with 35 points, while the Lady Commodores earned 52 points.
Leading the girls squad was ninth grader Esmeralda Rodriguez, who placed sixth with a time of 16 minutes, 39 seconds. Other notable finishers for the girls on the 4K course were: Manon Mullen (7th, 16:40), Rachel Starnes (8th, 16:41), Mariah Buford (11th, 17:19), Corey Hollis (17th, 17:19.5), Peyton Hamann (31st, 18:22) and Teierah Campbell (61st, 20:15). (November 8, 2010, Page 6B)
WATER VALLEY — The Blue Devil defense out-shined the Corinth Warriors in Friday night’s Class 3A first round matchup win, earning a 28-0 win.
The Wrecking Crew bundled up opposing ball carriers throughout the evening and held the Warriors to under 150 yards of total offense on the night.
Whenever the Warrior (4-7) offense seemed to start to drive the football the Blue Devil (10-2) defense would make a big play causing them to have to punt.
Along with the stingy defense, the Blue Devil offense relied heavily on establishing a run game for continual positive yardage and to set up the play action pass.
The Blue Devil offense ran the ball with a slew of different players. Three Blue Devil players carried the ball over 10 times rushing for over 70 yards a piece.
The Blue Devils look to survive and advance throughout the playoffs. They will have to travel to Ruleville and will need to win to keep their State Championship dreams alive. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m on Friday.
LAFAYETTE 49, NORTH PONTOTOC 7
The top-ranked Lafayette Commodores got their playoffs started right on Friday, cruising to a 49-7 victory over the North Pontotoc Vikings at William L. Buford Stadium.
After posting a scoreless first quarter in which the Vikings were able to control the clock with short passes and draw plays, the Commodores bounced back in a big way by reeling off 49 unanswered scores. The Vikings lone score came with under a minute left in the contest when the Commodores had already pulled the bulk of their starters.
Lafayette will host the Louisville Wildcats on Friday. Louisville, led by coach M.C. Miller, defeated Amanda Elzy 32-8 in their round 1 matchup.
(November 6, 2010)
For the Water Valley Blue Devils and Lafayette Commodores, the time to be clicking on all cylinders is now, as both teams begin their respective runs at Class 3A and Class 4A state titles.
The Oxford Chargers will also hit the gridiron tonight, concluding their regular season with a road game at Saltillo. (November 5, 2010, Page 6A)
The Lafayette bowling team will open its season Tuesday against Itawamba AHS in Tupelo. The varsity girls team includes Allena Bratton, Briana Clarkson, Desiree Jones, Ginny Kate Lofton, Paige Moore, Shamanda Price, Courtney Sharp, Taylor Tubbs, Alexis Sherman, Grace Watts, Sharvae Williams and Katelyn Wingon.
The boys team includes Sherman Bowles, Robert Gage, Tyler Hynous, Clint Lokey, Tyler Odom, Andrew Smith, Jamie Todd, Alex Watts, Jordan Willms and Allen Bratton. LHS coach Vicki Lokey said she is looking forward to another great season and anticipating another trip to Jackson for the state playoffs. (November 5, 2010, Page 6A)
The No. 1 team in Class 4A is who other 4A teams really, really want to beat in this year’s playoffs. Don’t get me wrong, teams that were fortunate enough to make the playoffs want to beat whoever they play, but if the team in front of them happens to be LHS, so much the better.
Lafayette is this year’s St. Stanislaus, the perfect team with all the star players that other teams hear so much about. In essence, the Commodores have gone from the team that nobody really knew much about to the team that everyone is gunning to knock off.
LHS coach Anthony Hart talked about what it means to be the top team in 4A entering the playoffs and how his team has to play because of that extra attention compared to last year.
“The only difference is sometimes you get nervous when you’re sitting there on top and everybody else is gunning for you. Last year we were down the ladder and we were gunning for everybody else. That just gives you a slightly different perspective on it,” Hart said. “You are what you are and where you are is where you are. You have to deal with it and play from that angle. We have to go out there and take everybody’s best shot every Friday like we have all year, play our game and just execute.”
Nothing will be easy
It sounds simple enough, but it won’t be. There won’t be anything easy about this year’s playoff run for the Commodores. That’s not saying the team can’t continue to reel off lopsided wins like they have in the regular season. LHS is as talented as any team in the state in any classification. But the difference, as Hart pointed out, is the extra attention, the extra pressure of winning because you’re supposed and where the Commodores lie in the bracket, something Hart said looked quality even though he tries not to look ahead too much.
“I feel like we’re in the toughest spot of the bracket we can be in. I feel like we’ve got the best No. 4 team in the North by far with North Pontotoc,” Hart said. “In North 4A, no matter where you are in the bracket, you’re going to run into somebody that’s quality pretty soon. North Pontotoc is a lot better than people give them credit for. As far as down the line, you’ve got a lot of good teams in 4A. I said that at the start of year.”
For Lafayette quarterback Jeremy Liggins and linebacker Kris Miller, the start of the playoffs mean competing against better teams rather than extra pressure to perform.
“I do feel like we’re the target because we’re No. 1 and because of last year, so everybody wants to beat us. I feel good about the team because I know we’re going to come out here and take it one game at a time. That’s why we have to come out and play hard each week,” Miller said. “The main thing is to stay focused. I know with the playoffs coming around, everybody is going to be 100 percent. It’s always good to play competition to see how good your talent is. You’re not getting any competition when you’re blowing folks out. Now we have to play a whole four quarter game. I want to see if I still got the breath.”
“In practice we try to come out with more momentum because we know it’s win or go home now,” Liggins said about the playoffs. “We’re not trying to go home. We’re trying to go back where we were last year but be on the other side of it. (Teams) are really looking at us because we went to state last year. We’ve just about go all our starters back on both sides of the ball and teams know we’re going to come out hard. We just have to do what we do.”
Impressive last two years
What the Commodores have done over the almost two full seasons is amazing. There have only been two losses over that time period and 25 wins. The football playoffs in this state, any state, are extremely tough.
It’s the ultimate test for football players because of the emotion involved each week. We all felt that emotion last year and it will be even more amplified this run.
I expect LHS to run the table in the North and then capture a state title in Jackson early next month. I think this team is too focused not to win it all. They know people are gunning for them, they hear people around town talk about how talented they are and they still perform. They haven’t gotten a big head, and I don’t think they will now with the prize so close. It should be an interesting ride these next five weeks, and one I’m looking forward to seeing how things really shape out. (November 5, 2010, Page 7A)
A super talented Lafayette Commodore football team will look to take its next steps to winning a Class 4A state championship Friday night with a first-round playoff game against North Pontotoc at William L. Buford Stadium.
From LHS coach Anthony Hart’s perspective, the start of the playoffs has made his already focused team even more prepared for the task of winning five more games which would give them the school’s first state title. (November 4, 2010, Page 6)
Lafayette and Water Valley split four games to open the middle school basketball season for both programs Tuesday in the WVHS gym. The seventh-grade Commodores defeated Water Valley 26-7, while the eighth-grade Blue Devils rallied to post a 15-13 win in the nightcap.
Lafayette’s seventh-grade girls lost 16-7 to the Lady Blue Devils, while Water Valley’s eighth-grade were defeated 12-10. (November 3, 2010, Page 6)
John Davis Tweets @oxfordeaglejd