Unbeaten Lafayette hands Parkway South first loss of season
By: Jonathan Duncan
In a clash of Suburban West unbeatens, Parkway South and Lafayette, it was the Lafayette Lancers that had all the answers when needed on Friday night.
Lafayette used its suffocating top-ranked defense and steady offense to roll to a 21-0 homecoming win over previously undefeated Parkway South.
The win gives Lafayette (8-0, 6-0 in conference) the inside track on the Suburban West championship and a good grip on the top seed in the Class 6 district 1 playoffs.
“This was a really challenging week with it being homecoming, there were a lot of distractions for the kids,” Lafayette coach Boyd Manne said. “To come out here and play this well against a really good football team in Parkway South, I’m really proud of our kids’ effort.”
Lafayette reached the end zone at the 4:23 mark of the first quarter on a three-yard touchdown run by Kevin Hampton for a 7-0 lead,
The Lancers drove deep into South territory early in the second quarter before settling for a Dan Menees 32-yard field goal.
On the Patriots’ next possession, Lafayette’s Josh Ripp victimized South quarterback Eli Erickson, picking off Erickson’s first down pass at the South 23.
That turnover led to a 25-yard field goal from Menees and the Lancers carried a 13-0 edge into the break, which the Patriots would not be able to bounce back from.
“They were across the ball before we were off the ball,” Parkway South coach Joe Rosewell said.”We just couldn’t handle them tonight.”
Parkway South (7-1, 5-1 in conference) was unnerved by penalties and turnovers throughout the night.
South was flagged for 14 penalties.
The Patriots were stuffed by the Lancers stout run defense as Lafayette routinely stacked seven or eight men in the box to take away the Patriots’ run game.
South did get one big play out of its offense when Terrell Bland raced 77 yards down the right sideline on a misdirection play. Bland was stopped by Lafayette’s Trey Perez at the 6-yard line.
“That’s a great play by Trey,” Manne said.
That play also cost the Patriots Bland for the rest of the evening as he tweaked his hamstring. Missing their biggest playmaker, South’s offense became rather predictable and easy for Lafayette’s defense to handle.
Also factored into the Parkway South struggles may have been the magnitude of the game – playing for the conference title.
“Our inexperience in this type of game showed tonight,” Rosewell said. “We’re not used to playing for conference championships.”