Story & Photos By Pamela Holloway
Playoff fever is in the air and it didn’t take long for LaFayette to show the Cleveland Panthers why they are the mighty, mighty Bulldogs.
The game started with the Bulldogs defense doing what they’ve been doing all year long, swarming the ball and playing aggressively all over the field. The defense would set the tone for the Bulldogs giving them their first score of the night. Defensive back Jordan Walker intercepted a Cleveland pass and scampered 97-yards to pay dirt to give the Dogs a 6-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter the senior duo of running back Robert Houston and wide receiver Jamarquez Boston-Gaines each registered touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
Kicker Axel Gonzalez went 2 for 3 on P.A.T.’s in the first half.
The Bulldogs would have a commanding 20-0 advantage at the halftime break.
In the third quarter the Bulldogs and Panthers would both have success offensively as each team would get in the scoring column twice in the quarter. Running back Robert Houston had his biggest run of the night on the very first play of the third quarter, he bounced to the outside and scooted 80 down the sidelines for the score. Boston-Gaines made a Randy Moss like catch as he went up over a Cleveland defender catching the ball and going in for the touchdown.
Cleveland established a running game in the second half and they were able to reach the end zone for two big scores in the third quarter.The Dogs outscored the Panthers 13-12 in the quarter.The score at the end of the third, Bulldogs 33, Panthers 12.
The Panthers would get on the score board one more time in the final quarter, making the final score 33-19.
On the offensive side of the ball running back Robert Houston continued with his remarkable senior campaign with 232 yards on 23 carries. Wide out Jamarquez Boston-Gaines had a good night hauling in four receptions for 70 yards. Quarterback Jalen McCurdy was 6 of 14 passing for 83 yards.
On the defensive side, Omar «Mr. Velcro» Boston had a season high 21 tackles and a sack.Yogi Barker had 14 tackles. Trevor Vines and Lajareon Bryant each had 13 tackles and a sack. JaQuavion Boston-Gaines had 8 tackles and a sack. Zachary Turner had 7 tackles and 2 sacks on the night.
The Bulldogs advance in the playoffs and now will travel to Fyffe to face the defending Class 2A State Champions and #1 ranked team in Alabama Class 2A. The Bulldogs have faced Fyffe two times and the Red Devils lead the series 2-0.
Game time is 7 p.m. cst. in Fyffe, Alabama.