Lafayette edges Central in battle of St. Joe

By Brandon Zenner The St. Joseph News-Press
Posted: August 26, 2016 - 10:37 PM



Following a torrential downpour that threatened games for the second straight week in Northwest Missouri, the grass on Scottie Marriott Field at Lafayette’s Alumni Stadium turned to slop.

The air attacks between Central and Lafayette were all but abandoned. In the renewal of a rivalry that was otherwise vanished on the gridiron, the Fighting Irish strung together enough momentous plays to claim bragging rights with a 18-12 victory in double overtime.

Junior quarterback Diego Bernard accounted for all three Irish touchdowns via the run game, two in overtime, including a four-yard walk-off rush in double overtime to seal the victory.

His Central counterpart, senior running back Izzy Smith, ran in Central’s first play in the first overtime period from 13 yards out. However, a missed point-after attempt by Austin Jackson made for two overtimes.

Nothing was doing for Smith and the Central offense. Bernard made the Indians pay.

“He (Smith) said we wasn’t gonna shut them down, so we just wasn’t doing no talking,” Bernard said. “We just came out and proved who was the bigger dog.”

Without much time spent on how to attack the opponent, Central coach Phil Pitts wiped the slate clean as soon as he saw the swampy field conditions.

“We just had to … find a way to get the ball in our guys’ hands as fast as we could, whether that was Cade (Musser) for us or Izzy,” Pitts said. “They were doing the same thing on the other side. A lot of the game plan we practiced all week is kinda thrown out the door when you have conditions like this, but that’s high school football.”

Lafayette jumped ahead on the third play of the second quarter after a series of plays from its leader.

Bernard capped a six-play, 40-yard drive with a 16-yard scamper to pay dirt.

The Irish (2-0) threatened again following an Indian punt, capitalizing on a pass interference on third-and-10. D’Karee Gray followed with a 19-yard reception. Bernard dazzled with a 12-yard rush.

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