The annual matchup between Lafayette and Oxford is called the Crosstown Classic for a reason and the latest installment in the series played Friday night at Oxford’s Bobby Holcomb Field definitely lived up to the moniker.
In a game that is usually decided by just one play, it was Lafayette junior defensive end Keeyon Tyson that produced the single-biggest play in a 21-14 win for the No. 1 Commodores. Just a little over a minute after the Commodores (3-0 overall) scored the game-winning touchdown on a 12-yard run by Demarkus Dennis at the 2:13 mark of the fourth quarter, Tyson was able to thwart a potential game-tying scoring drive for the Chargers (2-1) by slapping the ball away from quarterback Guy Cameron Billups at the LHS 13-yard line. (September 6, 2010, Page 1B)
Lafayette’s football team has always been about family. Throughout the program’s history, family members have been playing for the red and gold in the hopes of carrying on a tradition that has been set years prior.
This year’s group of Commodores is no different as brothers Jamel and Demarkus Dennis support one another on the field in the attempt to make LHS a better team.
Demarkus, the team’s leading running back, and Jamel, the team’s leading tackler at linebacker, have combined to make a formidable tandem for opposing teams to try and slow down each Friday night. (September 3, 2010, Page 9A)
Fear is a word that doesn’t appear in Lafayette senior linebacker DeAndre Fondren’s vocabulary. It’s not that the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Fondren doesn’t understand the meaning of the word, he just doesn’t associate with its meaning.
There are a lot of outstanding players on Lafayette’s defense this season, but Fondren appears to be the player that has the most heart and the most courage of a group not lacking in either area.
It’s the ability to play without fear, while going full speed every snap, that separates Fondren, aka “Tootie”, from others on the defense and why he’s counted on by defensive coordinator Eric Robertson each week to make plays. (August 27, 2010, Page 7A)
The Bears dispatched Houston 42-26 in their season opener last week and Hart said that they have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. (August 26, 2010, Page 6)
Shortly after Cleveland’s Tyler Slaughter eluded the entire Lafayette Commodore defense to score an 80-yard touchdown in Friday’s season opener at Mickey Sellers Stadium, LHS quarterback Jeremy Liggins started shaking his head and verbally encouraging his teammates.
If Liggins and the Commodores weren’t fired up to beat the Wildcats prior to kickoff, they were after his mini speech on the sidelines.
It wasn’t what the standout quarterback and reigning EAGLE Player of the Year had to say that was important, it was the emphasis of how he got his message across that made all the difference for a team that is extremely hard to stop when they are motivated. (August 23, 2010, Page 1B)
When talking to Lafayette’s coaches, the phrase sluggish was used several times to describe the squad’s performance despite limiting Pontotoc to just 15 yards of total offense.
Such is life as the defending Class 4A North Half Champion. (August 16, 2010, Page 6)
Lafayette’s final full football practice before Friday’s jamboree against Pontotoc provided some mixed results for the Commodores Wednesday. The nearly two-hour practice wasn’t the sharpest the team has looked the first three weeks, but it wasn’t necessarily a warning sign that the team is regressing. (August 12, 2010, Page 2B)
Demarkus Dennis, like quarterback Jeremy Liggins, is no longer a well-kept secret on the Lafayette Commodores football squad. In fact, the talented duo will be drawing the lion’s share of attention from defenses this season.
Last year Dennis began the season as senior Sam Booker’s backup. But after several weeks, it was clear that the Commodores weren’t going to be able to keep Dennis off the field.
Not only was he juking his way through opposing defenses, but he was also rushing his way up Lafayette’s depth chart, finishing with 1,151 yards and 11 touchdowns. (August 6, 2010, Page 6A)
Whether it was C.C. or Markie Dukes swatting throws away, Dominique Price stepping up on a goalline stand or Jermaine “Slim” Pegues causing havoc in the middle of the line, the ‘Dores had no shortage of playmakers.
While Lafayette has five returners on defense this year, the coaching staff is hoping the ‘Dores have just the right blend of youth and experience. (July 29, 2010, Page 7)