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Lafayette Jeff shuts out Harrison, 26-0
September 3, 2013Lafayette Jefferson High School
Not long ago, Lafayette Jeff knew victory was only attainable with a big night on offense.
So what’s been the secret behind the Bronchos’ defensive awakening?
“The will,” Lafayette Jeff senior linebacker Irving Madden said. “We want it more. Ever since we got kicked out of the conference, it’s like the biggest chip we’ve got on our shoulder, because they feel like we can’t compete. We’re trying to compete at our hardest.”
With a run-stuffing front setting up a secondary that intercepted four passes, Lafayette Jeff defeated Harrison 26-0 at Rickard Field on Friday night.
The Bronchos (1-1 overall and in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference) posted their first shutout since a 37-0 victory at Westfield on Oct. 13, 2006. That same season, they posted their last shutout of Harrison, 58-0, and also blanked Brownsburg.
Just three seasons later, Lafayette Jeff allowed 48.3 points per game. Last season, that number still hovered at 33.6. But Madden said last week’s 14-7 loss at Zionsville provided a boost of confidence that carried over to Friday.
“I came out here and put my trust in the defense, and I told them to put their trust in me as well,” said Jeff senior running back Darian Green, who rushed for 185 yards and two touchdowns.
Woody Archibald intercepted Harrison quarterback Jake Lasky twice in the first half. Sam Collins and Mitchell Sterner each had a second-half interception.
The Raiders (0-2) committed five turnovers, twice snapped the ball over Lasky’s head for big losses and had a potential game-changing 70-yard touchdown run by Cameron Greene erased by a holding penalty.
Harrison’s losing streak extended to 28 games.
“If our offense executes and scores, we’re going to have momentum, and we’re going to want to stop them more than what we did before,” Harrison senior cornerback Nick Morris said.
Harrison stifled Ball State recruits Green and Matt Johnson throughout the first half. Jeff totaled 62 yards on 18 carries, and the game appeared headed for a scoreless halftime.
But Johnson, who earlier had badly overthrown two wide-open receivers, connected with Izaiah Archer for a 40-yard touchdown with one minute left in the first half.
“It was a big game-changer,” Green said. “Before half, we were going slow and things weren’t clicking the way we wanted them to click. But we put our trust in the defense. They got us the ball back, and we had to capitalize this week.”
Jeff coach Andy Kennedy said a blocking adjustment by assistant Chad Aldridge helped Green break away in the second half. After totaling 31 yards on nine first-half carries, Green scored on touchdown runs on 58 and 35 yards on consecutive third-quarter touches.
Greene’s negated touchdown run on third-and-35 would have cut the Jeff lead to two touchdowns late in the third quarter. Instead, Collins picked Lasky off on the game’s next play, and Harrison netted 3 fourth-quarter yards.
“I’m not disappointed in how we played at the beginning of last week’s game; I’m not disappointed in how we played at the beginning of this game,” Harrison coach Tony Martin said. “We’ve got to find a way not to hang our heads when somebody scores on us.”