No Bubba, no problem.
With go-to running back Bubba Johnson sidelined because of a strained Achilles, Kylan Nelson filled the gap Friday by rushing for 282 yards and a touchdown to lead Lafayette to a 27-19 victory over visiting Paul Laurence Dunbar.
The No. 19 Generals (3-2) put the game away when Zane Ramey scored on a 5-yard run with 1:32 left.
"Kylan did a great job for a sophomore," Lafayette Coach Carl Hayden said. "... Great job by our 'O' line opening holes for him. Zane Ramey lead-blocking, scoring a couple touchdowns himself. These guys really pulled together and we pulled it out."
Dunbar (0-4) put up a spirited fight, but lost its 14th consecutive city contest.
"It was one of those games that hurt," Coach Derrick Thomas said. "You know these guys gave it their all and just came up short.
"I can't take nothing away from Lafayette. They have a good team, and we knew that coming in. I feel they're the best team in the city and in our district."
Nelson carried 18 times, including a pair of 72-yard runs. He had 209 yards on eight first-half carries.
"I slipped up some in the second half," he said. "I came out strong and Dunbar, they obviously adjusted to me and they did a good job. They beat me up quite a bit.
"But I've got to thank my linemen for doing their job. And my coaches — they had faith in me."
Lafayette led 21-13 at halftime.
The Generals' touchdowns came on a 2-yard run by Ramey, an 85-yard pass play from Jeremy Smith to Brandon Epps and a 72-yard run by Nelson.
Dunbar tallied on runs of 23 yards by Jackson Armstrong and Blake Martin.
Ramey opened the scoring, capping an 88-yard drive that included a 72-yard run by Nelson.
Then, both teams scored in a span of 17 seconds.
Dunbar tallied on Armstrong's third-and-one burst up the middle.
Lafayette scored on the next play from scrimmage, Smith hitting Epps in stride near midfield for an 85-yard strike. It was the Generals' only completion of the night.
Nelson's second 72-yard run of the half made it 21-7 with 3:01 left in the half.
Dunbar scored with 52 seconds left. Martin rolled to his right, couldn't find a receiver and ran it in. The score came on the first play after Ryan Lippert intercepted a Lafayette pass.
A scoreless third quarter ended with Dunbar on the Lafayette 7-yard line.
Three plays later, the Bulldogs found the end zone on John Rose's 3-yard run. Rose would finish with 30 carries for 122 yards.
Going for a tie, Dunbar failed on a two-point pass play, leaving Lafayette with a 21-19 lead.
That's how it stayed until Ramey's 5-yard score with 1:32 left. That capped a 10-play, 64-yard drive.
Linebacker Justin Carr led Lafayette with 11.5 tackles. Jason Ferguson had eight. Dunbar's Andre Jones was in on 5.5 tackles, including a sack and 3.5 for losses.
Hayden said Johnson's injury amounted to being "a little banged up, but he'll be ready to go."
Paul L. Dunbar 7 6 0 6 — 19
Lafayette 14 7 0 6 — 27
L—Zane Ramey 2 run (Nathan Gillespie kick); PLD—Jackson Armstrong 23 run (Jon Hurley kick); L—Brandon Epps 85 pass from Jeremy Smith (Gillespie kick); L—Kylan Nelson 72 run (Gillespie kick); PLD—Blake Martin 12 run (kick blocked); PLD—John Rose 3 run (pass failed); L—Ramey 5 run (pass failed). Records—PLD 0-4; Laf. 3-2.