Lafayette takes winning streak on the road to New Albany

Published 12:11 pm Thursday, October 13, 2016

It’s been a good couple months for the Lafayette High football team. They are currently passengers on a five-game winning streak dating back to Sept. 9 when they defeated crosstown rival Oxford for the first time since 2011.

The piling up of wins has not affected Lafayette, or at least they are not showing any signs of getting too comfortable with themselves, and are still taking the game-by-game approach each week.
“We don’t talk about it,” Lafayette coach Michael Fair said. “We don’t talk about how many games we’ve won or where we are in the district. It’s just kind of one week at a time, one game at a time and one practice at a time. I feel really good with how our team is practicing this week.”

If they want to keep the good times rolling and stay atop the Region 2-4A standings, Lafayette (5-2, 2-0 2-4A) will have to earn their third road win of the season against a New Albany team that is better than their record suggests on Friday night (7 p.m., 105.1 FM).

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The Bulldogs (3-5, 1-1) are in their second year with former Oxford assistant Jake Hill at the helm. It will be the second straight week where Lafayette is facing a region opponent that is coming off a win against Byhalia as New Albany defeated the Indians 24-6 last Friday.

“(New Albany’s) got some confidence and playing real well,” Fair said. “They’re really sound on both sides of the ball. They play hard. Those guys are going to give great effort every snap, and you just know that going in. … Coach Hill does a good job of getting his guys open and being successful. Defensively, they’re really sound.”

Defense may not have much of a say in the outcome if the previous scores from both teams are any indication. New Albany is averaging 18.5 points per game and giving up 22.3 points a game. That is good news for a Lafayette offense that is putting up nearly 30 points a game (29.5). The defensive coaching staffs could have their hands full on both sidelines in what might become a shootout.

“You just never know. Each game has its own identity,” Fair said. “You never know what to expect until you get up in the middle of it. They do have the capability of putting up some points. Our guys on defense are really going to have to play well to keep them out of the end zone.”

Not looking ahead
Fair is really having to take his own philosophy and approach of one week at a time to heart this week with who is looming on the schedule next. Senatobia, Fair’s former team, will come to William L. Buford Stadium next week and could be for first place in the region if both teams come away with a victory this week. Keeping true to form, the Warriors (1-1 2-4A) host Byhalia Friday.

“I won’t let it. It’s there,” Fair said of looking ahead to Senatobia. “I’m not going to let myself think about it until Friday night after (New Albany). There’ll be some emotions as we get closer to it. I really won’t let myself think about.”