Bulldogs get first win of the season at homecoming

Published 12:42 am Saturday, September 16, 2023

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By Wayne Clark 

LaFAYETTE — After a lethargic first half, the LaFayette Bulldogs took care of business in the third quarter Friday night to pull Barbour County in a 30-0 homecoming win. The Bulldogs scored four touchdowns and a couple of two-point conversions to extend a narrow 2-0 halftime lead. 

The first half was very forgettable for LaFayette. The only score came when Barbour County gave up a safety when the center snapped the ball over the quarterback’s head and out of the end zone when they were inside their own 10. The Bulldogs gave away some great scoring chances, once on a fumble at the Jaguar two and another on an interception inside the 10. They also had a long touchdown pass called back on a penalty and had another close call when a receiver dropped a pass on what looked to be a sure touchdown.

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LaFayette extended that 2-0 lead to 8-0 early in the third period. On their first possession of the quarter, they went 73 yards in just three plays to get their first touchdown of the game. It came on a pass from quarterback Zae Towles to Dre Brewer.  After two strong runs by Zephaniah Phillips, LaFayette had the ball just past midfield when Towles and Brewer connected on a beautifully executed 49-yard bomb. A try for two points failed, and with 10:49 left in the third period the Bulldogs had that 8-0 lead.

The Bulldog defense held Barbour County to a three-and-out and the offense took over on their 36 following a punt. Towles led the team down the field for a second touchdown, this time connecting with J.R. Robinson on a 21-yard TD pass on a third-and-19 play. The two-point try failed, but with 6:14 left in the period LaFayette led 14-0

On the kickoff, LaFayette attempted an onside kick and recovered the ball on the Barbour County 39. From there, it became the Zephaniah Phillips show. He carried the ball six straight times, dodging tacklers and running over people until he reached the end zone. His seven-yard run off the left side of the line at the 4:03 mark of the quarter made it 20-0. A pass from Towles to Robinson on the conversion made it 22-0.

LaFayette’s defense was great all night, and on the next series. they held Barbour County to a fourth-and-long inside their 20. They opted to punt and with disastrous results. A bad snap forced the punter to run with the ball, and he was tackled on his own six-yard line. From there it took the Bulldogs offense just one play to score again. Phillips took it in off left guard to make it 28-0 and ran up the middle for two more points to make it 30-0 with 5.5 seconds left in the third quarter.

After a shaky 2-0 lead at halftime, that 30-0 lead at the end of the third quarter looked really good, especially with it being homecoming and the team having an 0-3 record going in.

Coach Juan Williams and his staff cleared the bench in the final quarter giving everyone in a uniform a chance to play. On their final possession, the backup players drove the ball to a first-and-goal before running out the clock. D.J. Washington had some nice runs on the drive.

The Bulldogs will be on the road next week when they travel to Goshen. They will then be back on the road with a game with Horseshoe Bend before being back at Bulldog Stadium with a game against cross-county rival Lanett. They will close out the season with games against Highland Home and Luverne.