St. Joe Lafayette blanks Excelsior Springs

By Ross Martin The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: November 6, 2013 - 11:28 PM

Lafayette’s first six possessions Wednesday lasted all of 5 minutes, 10 seconds.

Plenty of time for the sixth-seeded Fighting Irish to build a comfortable lead in their Class 4 District 8 semifinal vs. seventh-seeded Excelsior Springs. The 40-0 victory saw Lafayette score four quick touchdowns with a wild early sequence at Alumni Stadium in Lafayette’s first home postseason game since 1998, which ended with a Class 4A sectional loss to KC Central.

Fifteen years and two playoff systems later, Lafayette (7-4) returns to the round of 16 with a chance to reach the playoffs for the third time in coach Paul Woolard’s tenure.

“I always think about all the players that we’ve had that didn’t get to have this moment that were so close,” said Woolard, who took over a dormant program in 2007 and led the Irish to round of 32 playoff losses in 2008 and 2009 under the state’s previous postseason system. “I’m just awful proud of the way we play as a team. ... That’s a reflection of these kids’ hearts, and the way they like to play football.”

Lafayette’s onslaught almost started on the Irish’s first offensive snap.

After Lafayette forced Excelsior Springs into an opening three-and-out, quarterback Drew Cortez hit wide receiver Cody Massey on slant after Tigers cornerback Sam Webb slipped down on the mud-caked playing surface. Massey ended up fumbling inside Excelsior Springs’ 10, and the Tigers recovered.

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