Cougars get championship shot
Published 1:01 am Friday, November 16, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
The Lafayette Christian School Cougars are in the state-championship game for the second time in school history, and this time they’ll get to play for the title on their home field.
In 2015 when Lafayette Christian was still playing eight-man football, it capped a championship season by beating Central Christian 41-30.
Flash forward three years and the Cougars are back in the Georgia Independent Christian Athletic Association title game, this time as an 11-man program.
Lafayette Christian will host Life Christian today, with kick-off set for 7:30 p.m.
Lafayette Christian earned its title shot with a hard-earned 19-18 victory over Cherokee Christian last week, while Life Christian beat Central Fellowship Christian.
Lafayette Christian and Life Christian both finished second in their respective regions, and they knocked off region champions to reach the championship game.
Lafayette Christian and Cherokee Christian were meeting for the second time this season.
In the first game, it was all Cherokee Christian, which rolled to a 43-7 victory on Lafayette Christian’s home field.
In the rematch, the Cougars trailed 18-6 in the second half before rallying.
The comeback started when Cason Firth returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown, and they took the lead on a Ben Dixon scoring run in the fourth quarter.
The Cougars made one final defensive stop, and they had the win.
Senior quarterback Landon Whitley, who was the starter on the 2015 championship team, had a touchdown run in the first half to get the Cougars on the board.
In the first meeting with Cherokee Christian, Lafayette Christian head coach said “we had really performed poorly against them,” and that was evidenced by the final score.
The second time around, even though the Cougars were down in the second half, they were in the game.
“Mentally in your mind you’ve got to overcome that (earlier game), and we just needed to control the game,” Shaw said. “We went back to old-school Lafayette Christian football. We just pounded the rock.”
The Cougars also got two key interceptions, one by Whitley, and the other by Cameron Elliott that clinched the win in the fourth quarter.
The Cougars also got exceptional special-teams play.
In addition to Firth’s kickoff return for a score, Natan Fain had a 65-yard punt, and he also made an extra point.