Lafayette keeps MEC title hopes alive

By Ross Martin The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: October 12, 2012 - 11:40 PM

Paul Woolard’s been building for this type of moment for six years.

The Lafayette coach took over a program in the throes of a decade-long futility streak. Nearly six full years later, Woolard and the Fighting Irish will play for a Midland Empire Conference title after Friday’s 47-0 blowout of Bishop LeBlond at Eagle Stadium.

Lafayette improved to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in league play.

The Irish host unbeaten Maryville next Friday with a chance to forge a tie atop the MEC standings. A win in either of the final two guaranteed contests, and Lafayette wins at least eight games for the first time since 1992.

Not bad work after inheriting a team with seven last-place finishes in the previous 10 years before Woolard arrived.

“This is what you play for,” he said, “since we’ve got to Lafayette, for it to come down to Week 9 where you have a shot at the conference championship, a shot for a good seed in districts. Can’t ask for much more than that.

“I just hope the boys are excited; I’m excited for them.”

Lafayette’s most recent victory closely followed the recent pattern.

At least one long Jurell Green touchdown run. Efficient quarterback play. A stingy defense. Green ran for touchdowns of 54 and 85 yards on consecutive carries early in the second quarter, and first-year sophomore starter Drew Cortez threw a pair of touchdown passes — both to emerging outside threat Cody Massey (20 and 8 yards).

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