‘Dores out to work on themselves in finale
The objective the week after a game regardless of the outcome is universal for all football teams: Improve on the good and clean up the mistakes.
There’s more urgency, though, to fix the miscues after a loss, which all came to the surface for Lafayette in its loss at Senatobia last week that cost the Commodores the chance to repeat as the Region 2-4A champion. Lafayette (8-2, 3-1 Region 2-4A) now has to turn its attention to trying to clinch the region’s No. 2 playoff seed in the regular-season finale against Byhalia on Friday at William L. Buford Stadium, but the Commodores’ preparation has started with themselves.
“Just a lot of mistakes that showed up that haven’t necessarily shown up all year,” Lafayette coach Eric Robertson said. “That was out of character for our football team, and fortunately we’ve got a chance to fix those. Two weeks from now, we don’t in the playoffs.
“I’m more worried about Lafayette, to tell you the truth.”
The lack of offensive balance, special teams mishaps and untimely flags and turnovers marred last week’s setback, late-season issues which Robertson said were “my fault, not (the players).”
Lafayette committed 12 penalties with one of their two fumbles coming on the kickoff following the Warriors’ go-ahead touchdown with less than 2 minutes left, making this week slower than most for the Commodores to get refocused.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t (difficult). It was a tough weekend for our guys,” Robertson said. “It was a tough Monday, but we have no choice but to bounce back and get ready to play. We have a really good football team. We’re going to focus on Lafayette and Byhalia this week and get back to playing Lafayette football the way we’re capable of.”
Byhalia (2-7, 0-4) hasn’t offered much resistance to most of the teams it’s played to this point, getting outscored 186-41 in region contests. The Indians have been held to 13 points or less six times and been shut out in half of those games.
The Indians will give Lafayette a different offensive look than any other opponent with the veer option, meaning the Commodores’ defensive ends and linebackers will “really have to take care of their responsibilities,” Robertson said. But Friday will be more of an opportunity to find out if the work Lafayette has done on itself during the week carries over to the game.
Senior Tyrell Price continued his torrid season against Senatobia with 206 more rushing yards to put him at 1,761 yards for the year, but that was nearly all the offense the Commodores mustered as quarterback Will Ard had just 11 passing yards on three completions. It’s something to work on before the real season starts next weekend.
“I want to do that. I want us to come out and throw the ball because we’re capable of that,” Robertson said. “We have some good receivers, a good quarterback, a line that can protect, and we need to go out and try to throw it early and have some success throwing the football and have some big plays in the passing game.”
A pep in the Commodores’ collective step after what happened six days ago would be encouraging for their coach.
“I want us to play fast, I want us to play physical, and I want us to play with a lot of energy,” Robertson said. “I want to play the way we should be playing heading into the playoffs, and I expect our kids to come out and do that.”