It was a clear black night, a clear white moon and it was all about the LaFayette Bulldog defense on Friday night.
The defense anchored the Bulldogs in their 26-6 win over the Collinsville Panthers.
On a night where the usually explosive LaFayette offense struggled, the defense stepped up.
The Bulldogs defense lives by the quote: “Bend but don’t break,” and that’s just what they did on Friday night.
The defense was ferocious and tenacious all night long, holding the Panthers to just 153 total yards for the game.
The game started out with Collinsville attempting and recovering a onside kick.
The Panthers who usually operate out of the spread offense, surprised the Bulldogs when they came out in a wish bone offensive set.
The Panthers seemingly caught the Bulldogs a little off guard with this tactic, as they drove the ball down the field forty-nine yards for the games first score.
After a missed extra point the score was 6-0, Collinsville.
It was no doubt what the Panthers game plan was and that was to keep the Bulldog offense off the field.
The Panthers held the ball over eight minutes on their first drive, grinding minute after minute off the time clock while keeping that explosive Dog offense off the field.
Collinsville would get the only score of the first quarter leading the Bulldogs 6-0.
The Bulldog offense struggled as their star QB Jatarvious Whitlow had a off night.
But the Bulldogs are equipped with an arsenal of offensive weapons, and one of them being in the form of running back Robert Houston Jr.
Houston Jr. who is often over looked, has been a key catalyst in the Dogs success this season.
Houston Jr. has rushed for over 1,000 yards this season and is still adding to that total.
Houston would be the focal point of the night for the Bulldog offense.
On the Dogs first possession of the second quarter, Houston exploded for a 30-yard run on his first carry of the game.
The Bulldogs found the end zone for the first time when Whitlow scampered 17 yards for score.
The two-point conversion was good on a run by Robert Houston, leaving the score 8-6, Bulldogs.
The Dog defense didn’t let up stopping the Panthers in their own end zone for the safety.
The Bulldogs now led 10-6. On the Dogs next possession they would score on a 11-yard pass from Whitlow to Zarian Heard for the touchdown.
My’Kale Trammell would go in for the two-point conversion leaving the score 18-6 Dogs.
The Bulldogs had another touchdown called back right before the half, when Whitlow was ruled down after he pitched the ball to Houston for the score.
The Dogs defense picked up right where they left off in the first half stopping the Panthers on their first possession of the 3rd quarter.
After a couple of offensive mishaps by the Bulldogs, a muffed punt by Whitlow and a fumble by Houston the Bulldog defense turned up once again.
The Bulldog defense stifled the Panther offense for most of the second half leaving little hope for a comeback.
The Bulldogs reached the end zone once more, this time it would be Houston Jr. with his biggest run of the night, a 72-yard run for the games final score.
The Bulldogs would get another touchdown by Whitlow, later to be called back a 96-yard TD was negated due to sideline interference with a referee.
The final score LaFayette 26, Collinsville 6.
It wasn’t pretty but a win is a win.
The offense only ran 29 plays with only four players recording offensive stats.
Robert Houston was a beast for the offense with 139 yards rushing.
The MVP for the night was the LaFayette Defense.
Julius Bullard had 15 tackles, ZyQuez Mitchell had 13 tackles and D.J. Kimbrough had 12 tackles.
The Bulldogs are now 11-0 and still on their quest to make it to Jordan-Hare Stadium for the Championship.
The LaFayette Bulldogs will face the Sheffield Bulldogs in a battle of the Bulldogs Friday night in LaFayette at the Dog Pound. Game time 7p.m. cst. “GO DOGS”