Thirty years ago, Lafayette advanced to the state semifinals and eventually went on to become the at-large state champions.
That year, 1985, was the Generals last appearance in the state semifinals. Not anymore.
Lafayette overcame a few mistakes early and generated nearly 500 yards of offense to defeat Scott County, 36-30, and compete for a chance to go to Bowling Green next week at Simon Kenton.
The Generals defeated Scott County for the first time since 2009. That streak included a 65-46 loss in this regular season in which the Cardinals generated more than 500 yards on the ground. They were held to 308 in this one.
“It means a lot to beat the Dallas Cowboys of Kentucky,” said sophomore receiver Dekwan Edwards, who caught a 42-yard TD to send the Generals into halftime trailing 16-14.
Lafayette were behind most of the first half and didn’t have a lead until junior quarterback Walker Wood rushed in from 17 yards out to put the the Generals up 21-16 with 6:11 left in the third quarter. Scott County would never lead again.
The Generals forced two empty Cardinals possessions then took over again at the start of the fourth quarter. Wood rushed for a short gain and then got it to Matthew Guilfoil to set up third and three from Lafayette’s own 11-yard line.
That’s when Mason Alstatt, a Wofford commit who’s been the Generals’ biggest playmaker all year, busted loose for an 89-yard TD to put Lafayette up 28-16 early in the fourth.
“Our running backs have been working on patience just throughout the year,” Alstatt said when asked about his huge play. “I waited for the hole to open cause I knew it was gonna come. We’ve got one of the best lines in the state. I just hit it.”
Scott County answered with a three-minute drive which ended in Noah Hughes’ second of three TDs in the game.
It means a lot to beat the Dallas Cowboys of Kentucky.
Dekwan Edwards, Lafayette receiver
Lafayette countered with an 80-yard TD drive, the score again courtesy of Alstatt. But the most pivotal play came midway through the drive, when on 4th and 12 from his own 36, Wood completed a 60-yard scorcher to Daquis Sharp to put the Generals deep in the red zone. Wood got in on a fake PAT to put the Generals up 36-23 with 2:17 remaining.
“We’ve prepared all week and when we came out we played our butts off,” Wood said. “We got some luck here and there and we started rolling and got the momentum.”
Hughes’ third TD got the Cardinals within six with 1:22 left but they failed to recover an onside kick attempt.
“I can’t explain how happy I am about this game,” said senior lineman Landon Young, who in addition to Wood is a University of Kentucky commit. “ ... This is one of the ultimate goals that I’ve wanted to do all through high school. Scott County’s always been our big rival ever since Lexington Catholic didn’t play the city schools anymore ... so we came out tasting blood.”
After Lafayette struggled against Henry Clay last week and was down 21-7 to Paul Laurence Dunbar in the final quarter of their first-round game, many predicted a Scott County win, especially after the Cardinals’ regular-season gashing.
Lafayette opened the night with a strong drive but Scott County came up with a botched snap in the red zone and capitalized with a Hughes’ first TD run on the other end.
Another bad snap on the Generals' second possession forced them to punt from their own goal line and put Scott in good scoring position. Keith Guy got tackled at Lafayette's 2-yard line on a 30-yard run before the Generals forced negative yardage on the next set of downs. Scott County connected on a field goal as the second quarter began to go up 9-0.
“God is good,” Lafayette Coach Eric Shaw said. “These kids have worked their behinds off. ... We never stopped believing that we could win a big game.”
Lafayette 36, Scott Co. 30
SC—Hughes 6 run (kick failed); SC—FG Dummer 26; LF—Wood 9 run (Duprey kick); SC—Smith 17 run (Dummer kick); LF—Edwards 42 pass from Wood (Brown pass from Wood); LF—Wood 17 run (Duprey kick); LF—Alstatt 89 run (Duprey kick); SC—Hughes 4 run (Dummer kick); LF—Alstatt 6 run (Wood run); SC—Hughes 6 run (Dummer kick).
Records: Lafayette 11-2, Scott Co. 11-2.