When this football season is finished, Lafayette's Ishmael Stadium will be torn down to make room for a new facility with brighter lights, sturdier stands, artificial turf . . . and no history.
That's why the Generals are intent on making memories in their old house this fall. They made a few Friday night as they beat Henry Clay, their oldest rival, 24-14.
"Coach (Rob Sayre) has been telling us that since this is the last season anybody's gonna play in this stadium, we need to leave it with a good reputation," Lafayette junior Eric Shaw said.
Shaw enhanced his own reputation as one of the best players in the state with his performance in the Generals' next-to-last regular-season home game.
The 5-foot-9, 175-pounder rushed 17 times for 167 yards and three touchdowns.
"It's easy when you give the ball to No. 23 (Shaw) and he makes plays," Sayre said.
"That's kinda what we ended up doing."
Shaw, who also stars on defense, shone brightest in the last seven minutes when he ripped off TD runs of 77 and 18 yards to clinch victory.
Lafayette's defense held the spotlight until then by stuffing Henry Clay time and again when the visitors crossed into the red zone.
Lafayette showed that toughness in the first half after Henry Clay's Tyler Hooker broke loose on a 45-yard scamper that set up the Devils at the 6-yard line.
But Henry Clay's next four plays produced negative yardage, and Cole Mielcarek wound up throwing an incomplete pass on fourth-and-goal from the 18.
The Devils trailed 12-7 at halftime, with their only score coming after Lafayette fumbled a punt on its own 11.
Lafayette, whose offense also sputtered most of the night, still held its tenuous 12-7 edge early in the fourth quarter when Henry Clay drove to the Generals' 15.
But Lafayette's defense came through again, with Jamel Sleet intercepting a pass at the goal line.
"Until then I was getting kind of bored because they weren't coming to my side," Sleet said with a laugh.
Shaw kept him entertained with his two fourth-quarter TDs that were sandwiched around another fourth-down stand by Lafayette's defense.
Even though Sayre sees Shaw as an offensive game-breaker, he knows the Generals' defense is their bread and butter.
"That's where we have most of our returning starters, so they're definitely carrying us while our offense grows and gets used to playing on Friday night," he said.
Henry Clay showed its inexperience on offense. It generated only 230 yards, with a big chunk of that coming after the game was decided.
"We're just not finishing," Devils Coach Sam Simpson said. "We had our opportunities, but couldn't put the ball in the end zone."
Hooker, who's not fully recovered from a hip injury, was Henry Clay's primary weapon. He carried 16 times for 94 yards.
The Devils have started the season 0-4 for the first time since 1997.
Lafayette (3-2) leads its 61-year-old rivalry with the Devils 32-29-2.
Lafayette 24, Henry Clay 14
Henry Clay 0 7 0 7—14
Lafayette 0 12 0 12—24
L—Eric Shaw 2 run (kick blocked); HC—Shannan Coofer 1 run (Bruce Price kick); L—Darnell Burnside 3 run (run failed); L—Shaw 77 run (run failed); L—Shaw 18 run (run failed); HC—Branden Johnson 10 pass from Jerry Williams (Price kick)
Records: Henry Clay 0-4; Lafayette 3-2
First downs14 10
Rushing yds 163 177
Passing yds 67 54
Passes 27-11-1 13-8-0
Punts-avg 5-33.4 6-32.3
Penalties-yds 4-30 3-25
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-1