The Lafayette Fighting Irish sent the Clinton Cardinals flying home with disappointment as the Fighting Irish completely dominated the 2019 season opener and won 53-0 at Scott Marriott Field at Alumni Stadium.

The Fighting Irish started their season wasting no time, as they scored in less than three minutes in the opening drive. Senior running back Jericho Weston scored the first touchdown of the fall, with a 2-yard rush with 9:48 left in the quarter. Weston scored again on the next drive to take a 14-0 lead, and the offense didn’t stop there.

“Our offense is pretty good,” coach Eric McDowell said. “We got good blockers and skill players, and when we play well, we can score a lot of points like we did tonight.”

Lafayette scored in every drive in the first quarter, taking a fast 20-0 lead against Clinton. Weston wasn’t the only Fighting Irish with multiple trips to the endzone, as he was joined by junior wideout Miles Henderson, who finished the night with one receiving and one rushing touchdown.

“It feels exciting to do anything to help this team get better,” Henderson said. “All we got to do is play together and we will be successful.”

The Fighting Irish didn’t take down the throttle, as quarterback Daeton McGaughy scored back-to-back rushing touchdowns in a 2:27 span, to extended the lead to 40-0.

“We all just fought hard. We worked together as a team, nobody was worrying about their individual performance over the team’s performance,” Henderson said.

Lafayette was able to squeeze in one more score in the first half, as sophomore quarterback Jaron Saunders rushed in for a 1-yard touchdown to take a commanding 46-0 lead heading into the halftime break. With a running clock in the entire second half, Lafayette scored one more time on Clinton, as sophomore quarterback Jaron Saunders connected with junior Mekhi Reed for a 52-yard touchdown reception to give them an insurmountable deficit of 53-0 with 3:59 left in the game.

“It’s awesome to see the younger guys score,” Coach McDowell said. “The more experience they get this year the more valuable it is to them and to our football team next year. I was very happy for them and they were were excited as well.”

With the season starting off in a big winning fashion, Lafayette is going to keep grinding and continue to get better. With a long season ahead, they know that there is still plenty of football left to play.

“The great thing about this group of guys is that they are not only really talented, but they are also really level headed, so they know that this is just step one. So we are culminating to play our best football in week 10, so no matter what the opponent is, our goal right now is to get to be as good as we can when we reach week 10,” McDowell said.

Lafayette will look to move to 2-0 next week with a tough test at Center in Kansas City.

Tanner Cobb can be reached

at tanner.cobb@newspressnow.com