Despite a tough loss two weeks ago to Abbeville, LaFayette Coach Dialleo Burks said his team turned a corner in the game. The first year coach was apparently right, as his Bulldogs picked up their first win of the season on Friday night. LaFayette’s 21-15 win over region rival Horseshoe Bend on the road not only provided a much needed confidence boost for the young squad, but it also kept alive their chances to make the playoffs.
We came out ready and focused,” Burks said. “Last week, before the game, we reevaluated what was going on with the season. The first half of the season is over, so now the mindset is that we are 1-0. We have to take each week individually and every game is a big game.”
The final score didn’t really reflect the flow of the game, as LaFayette maintained control throughout. The Bulldogs led the entire contest, but a few turnovers and a last gasp effort by the Generals made the game closer than it should have been.
“The guys fought, and we had a little success early,” Burks said. “Then we let off a bit, but we got it back together and finished the game.”
LaFayette’s offensive attack was balanced as they ran for 122 yards and threw for 181 yards. Quarterback Kentrel Holloway had his most efficient game of the year, completing 15-for-24 passes with one touchdown and one interception.
“We want to be balanced,” Burks added. “We have so many athletes to do it and it’s a disadvantage to not get all our players involved.”
Quen Whitlow was Holloway’s go-to reliever as he caught four passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. Tequarri Whitlow caught five passes for 57 yards and led the Dogs’ rushing attack with 85 yards on 11 carries with two scores. Mitchell Ross also caught four passes for 25 yards. Okoye Williams had 20 yards rushing on just three carries and DaBrien Trammell had eight carries for 26 yards.
On defense, the Bulldogs were led by Trammell, who had a monster night with 15 tackles. Tequarri Whitlow was also a force for the LHS defense, as he finished with 12 tackles.
Brendan Tucker had nine tackles and Ross collected seven in the win. Antonio Smith, Dimitric Wright and Quen Whitlow each finished with four tackles for LHS.
After three weeks on the road, LaFayette finally returns to Bulldogs Stadium this Friday night, and it’s a big one. The Dogs will host their second consecutive Region 5 foe as Isabella comes to town to serve as LaFayette’s homecoming opponent.
The Mustangs had been the surprise team in Region 5 so far this season, starting the season with five straight wins before falling to red-hot Lanett this past Friday 25-14. They are a team that has a variety of offensive sets, so the LHS defense will have their hands full.
The game is a must-win if the Bulldogs are to have any hope to make the playoffs, but it will be no easy task. Isabella will not only be looking to rebound from their first loss, but they will also have on their mind that the Bulldogs blasted them last year 48-13.
Kickoff is set for 7 pm CST at Bulldogs Stadium and homecoming festivities are scheduled to take place prior to kickoff.
*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.