The Commodores haven’t played at home since week two of the season when they throttled 3A Charleston, but they’ll return to Lafayette County on Friday night when Saltillo comes to town.
Lafayette dropped its last two contests to rival Oxford and division opponent West Point, but Commodore head coach Michael Fair said he’s excited to get back home.
“We haven’t played a game on our field in a month,” Fair said. “We’re excited to get back here in front of our fans. We have a great student section, and it’s nice to be able to get back to play on our home field. “
Last Week, Lafayette opened up district play in Clay County against back-to-back 5A state champion West Point, and came up short in a defensive slugfest 14-13. West Point hadn’t lost on its home field in over three calendar years, and the Commodores were the closest to pulling off that feat.
After the two losses to Oxford and the Green Wave, Fair said he was able to learn a few things about the players on his team.
“I’ve learned that they’re a really resilient bunch of kids,” Fair said of the team. “They bounce back no matter what, and they keep coming. That’s what I’m proud of, is that they keep playing. We’ve lost two games by three points, and they keep playing hard and preparing well every single day.”
Saltillo will be the opponent on Friday night, and while the Tigers haven’t had a stellar year thus far they have playmakers all over the field and can make it a tight contest if the Commodores don’t play well. Saltillo will likely be one of the teams competing for the final playoff spot within the division.
“They have playmakers all over the field,” Fair said of the Tigers. “We have to play really well on defense. When I look at the film I see a bunch of kids that are playing hard, and we know we’ll have our hands full on Friday night when they come. They have a really good quarterback that can make plays whenever you let him.”
While West Point now has the tiebreaker over Lafayette and would likely have to lose twice to let the Commodores have a chance to win the division, Lafayette has every opportunity to accomplish what they set out to at the beginning of the season.
“Everything is still in front of us, even with us losing the last two games,” Fair said. “We can still accomplish everything that we want to this season, we just have to play better.”
The Commodores are led by upperclassmen, which Fair said is a bonus when things don’t go as planned.
“We have a very mature team and guys that have been through the games and know what this is about,” Fair said. “It’s nice to have older guys when things don’t go as we planned to get everyone back up.”
The Commodores returned to practice on Monday in preparation for the Tigers, and Fair said he was proud of the way his players responded in that.
“When we got in on Monday afternoon, it was business as usual and that’s a good thing,” Fair said. “We know we still have it in front of us.”