With the 2019 high school football season coming to a close, Lafayette High School and West Point look to be two of the favorites to reach the 5A Mississippi state championship game.
When it comes to high school football in the area, many times all eyes are drawn to Oxford High School. Lafayette, however, is trying to change that narrative.
Led by a potent running attack and a defense that flies to the football, Lafayette stands at 8-3 on the year and 5-2 in district play, good for the No. 3 seed in the 5A North Half.
Lafayette has been led all year by senior standout Randy Anderson. Anderson, who was the quarterback last year but now plays both offense and defense, has accumulated 1,389 yards on the ground and 18 touchdowns so far this season.
“Randy Anderson has made this offense go this year,” Jared Redding, assistant editor for divisions and features for SES Mississippi said. “He can do it all.”
Anderson is not the only Commodore having a big year on the gridiron. Guys like sophomore quarterback Tyrus Williams, senior running back Xzavious Stokes and senior wide receiver/scatback Isaac Vaughn have all done their part to make the Commodore run game dominant.
“To them, football is more simple than made out to be. At the end of the day, it comes down to blocking someone, hitting someone, and the way they execute with the ball in hand,” Redding said. “They are as blue-collar as any in the state. They are very old-school and carry the mentality that if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
The regular season came to an end last Friday as the Commodores fell to Lake Cormorant 20-14. Two out of the three losses handed to Lafayette came from top teams in the state – Oxford High School and West Point.
The loss to Oxford was a tough one but ultimately has no implication on Lafayette’s playoff seeding because Oxford is now in the 6A division. West Point, on the other hand, is a team Lafayette will likely see again.
After a disappointing 28-24 loss to West Point in the regular season, the Commodores will likely have to go through them to reach a state championship.
The loss to West Point really stung for the Commodores as they took a 17-point lead into the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold on for the win. The Commodores were a mere 10 yards away from defeating West Point—who reigns as the three-time defending 5A champions—but ultimately came up short.
“I don’t think anyone other than West Point can hold a candle to Lafayette in 5A North,” Redding said. “Lafayette and West Point both have similar team philosophies and the way they do things. They will make for an awesome rematch if nothing goes wrong before then.”
The loss to West Point early in the season seemed to be a turning point as the Commodores are really on a roll now.
“I thought our guys responded well from two losses earlier in the year. We have won five games in a row and are hopefully peaking at the right time,” Fair said.
Barring any upsets, it looks as if the North Half champion will come from the winner of West Point vs. Lafayette.
Fair believes his team will have the advantage if a rematch were to occur because of his team’s ability to prepare well.
“I would say our biggest strength so far would just be the way this team prepares each week,” Fair said. “We have several seniors in key positions that are doing a really good job of leading our young guys in practice every day.”
One of those seniors, Levi Lott, talked about what the team needs to do once playoff time arrives.
“Going into the playoffs, I think we need to get going earlier,” Lott said. “We can’t keep waiting until the second half to get things going. We need to execute from the start at a high level.”