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Dores cruise through Saltillo in region play

SALTILLO — Just like last week, it took a while before the Lafayette Commodores could really get comfortable with their lead. Also last week, second half turnovers sealed the deal.

The Commodores (5-2, 3-1) knocked off the winless Saltillo Tigers 20-0 at Willis Wright Stadium on Friday. The Commodores have now won three straight games in Region 1-5A play and are a game away from clinching a playoff berth for the third straight season and for the 18th time since 2000.

The Commodore offense took to the passing game for the majority of the night while the defense pitched their first shutout of the season.

“At times, we have to find the players that will score points for us,” Lafayette head coach Michael Fair said. “We had opportunities, but couldn’t get them done. [Saltillo] played hard, but we played hard also. We just have to execute at a higher level, but we’ll get there… our defense is the strength of our team. Our front is as good as we’ve had in a long time. They’ve been keeping us in good situations.”

The Commodores received the opening kickoff and found themselves on the scoreboard almost immediately. Just four plays into the game, Jay Reed found the edge of the defense and raced 59 yards to the end zone to give Lafayette a 7-0 lead with 10:43 left in the first quarter.

After a few shaky Commodore drives, Tyrus Williams threw his first touchdown pass of the game to Kyle Vaughn on the Lafayette sideline for a 22 yard catch, after dodging a few Saltillo tackles. Following a missed PAT, Lafayette had a 13-0 lead going into the locker room at halftime. Lafayette’s defense didn’t allow a Tiger first down until early in the second quarter and allowed only four first downs in the first half.

Coming out of the locker room, the Tigers had an opportunity to get back into the game after a muffed Lafayette punt. After a Saltillo touchdown pass was called back due to penalty, Kylan Egerson made them pay with an interception midway through the third quarter. The Tigers would continue to run the ball with more success in the second half, but again the Commodores held their ground with two interceptions by Trikyus Woodall, one of which went the other way for a nine-yard pick-six with four minutes left in the game.

The Commodores will travel to Columbus next Friday as they take on the New Hope Trojans to continue Region 1-5A play. Kickoff time is set for 7 p.m.

“We have a great opportunity ahead of us,” Fair said. “We’re not good enough right now to win this district. We can be, though, if we keep practicing like we’re supposed to.”

By Jared Redding | EAGLE Contributor