MOOREVILLE – It didn’t take long after the second half started just to see how much more explosive the Lafayette Commodore offense is with Tyrus Williams in the game.
Williams sprinted 46 yards down the middle of the field for a touchdown on his first play out of his suspension in Lafayette’ 42-7 rout of the Mooreville Troopers Friday night at Mooreville High School.
On Williams’ only pass of the night, he threw his first career touchdown pass to Javon Simpson from 24 yards to cap his very limited time in the game where he saw just four plays on offense, but it looked like he didn’t miss a beat on the field.
“It shows what he is capable of for sure,” Lafayette coach Michael Fair said about his quarterback. “Just because he was suspended for the first half doesn’t mean he didn’t practice this week. We had a plan for him. We wanted him to get him some reps. He only had four (plays) and we were hoping for a few more, but he came out there and he was dynamic tonight.”
Lafayette (2-1 overall) started Taylor Tarver due to the first half suspension of Williams and substituted very well for him completing 10-for-16 passes for 139 yards and tossed for two first half scores and also ran in one for a touchdown. Tarver was complemented nicely thanks to the rushing attack of Jayden Reed toting the ball 14 times for 107 yards and a touchdown, all of which came in the first half for Reed.
Last week for Lafayette defensively, there were plenty of missed tackles that allowed Oxford’s playmakers to score or make a key first down on pass receptions. This week, that area made a big jump. In Mooreville’s pass-happy offense and at one point Trooper quarterback Dawson Phillips was 17-for-26 passing, but only for 92 yards and just 53 yards after the catch was made on those 17 receptions for an average of a little more than three yards after the catch.
“Sometimes you kinda get into the deal where you get into the game plan more than the fundamentals,” Fair said. “I don’t think we did that because we are fundamental everyday, but we did put more of an emphasis on it this week and I think it showed tonight.”
Lafayette took the opening drive of the contest nine plays over 80 yards for their first score of the game, a 32-yard pass from Tarver to Kityun Turner on fourth-and-12. Andrew Pugh kicked through the first of his six made extra points to take an early 7-0 lead with 8:06 left in the first quarter.
Mooreville (1-2) had a turnover on downs on their first possession. Lafayette took over at its 35-yard-line and traveled 65 yards on 11 plays, capped by a Reed seven yard run to double the score to 14-0 with 1:32 left in the first quarter.
After teams traded possessions a few times, Tarver found Kylen Vaughn from 56 yards on a two-play possession to increase the Commodore lead to 21-0. On the next possession on another fourth down play, Tarver ran in for a score from 13 yards out to increase the Lafayette advantage to 28-0 with 3:52 left until halftime.
Mooreville’s lone score came with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter when Phillips found Michael Tharp from seven yards out with the game already out of reach. Phillips finished the night 23-for-32 passing for 188 yards and a touchdown along with an interception with more than half of those yards coming in the fourth quarter.
Trikyus Woodall had five rushes for 91 yards for Lafayette to complement Reed. Vaughn led the Commodore receivers with four receptions for 72 yards. Lafayette totaled 478 yards of offense in the game and gained at least one first down on every drive except for a two-play drive right before halftime.
Next Week: West Point
With the Mooreville win behind the Commodores, Fair and his team can now turn their full focus on the West Point Green Wave who have won the last four 5A state championships, and for Lafayette to get its first win over West Point in more than a decade and obviously start Division 1-5A play on the right foot, it’s going to take everything.
“It’s going to take a great effort,” Fair said. “Our guys are not intimidated by West Point at all. It’s going to be a big game. We are going to have to play really good. It’s going to take a great effort. We’re going to have to take care of the ball, we have to gang tackle, we’re going to have to physical at the line of scrimmage. All the things we’ve said for two years against West Point, we’re going to actually have to do it this week. We have a big week of preparation ahead of us.”
Kickoff in West Point is set for 7 p.m. and can be heard on the radio locally at 105.1 FM.