STARKVILLE — They say defense wins championships.
Well, Lafayette that put on a clinic.
Behind a stingy defense, the Commodores held off a late second surge by Poplarville to knock off the Hornets 27-12 at a rain soaked Davis Wade Stadium at Mississippi State to claim the MHSAA Class 4A state championship.
It is Lafayette’s (13-2) third state title in school history and first since 2011.
In the first half the Commodores held Poplarville to just 89 yards rushing and forced two turnovers. One of those was a 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Brandon Turnage with 17 seconds left in the second quarter that gave Lafayette a 20-0 lead.
Quarterback Will Ard finished with the game 6 of 7 passing for 104 yards with a touchdown and a interception. His touchdown pass went 77 yards to Tyler Williams that gave Lafayette a 7-0 lead with 7:53 left in first quarter.
Jamarcus Quarles and Jamie Shaw each had rushing touchdowns for Lafayette.
Jesse Pernell had 216 yards rushing with a touchdown to lead Poplarville. Peytan Graham added a 11-yard touchdown run for the Hornets (12-2), who was making their first state championship appearance in school history.