Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 30, 2009



Entering this season, only one River Parishes player had ever captured the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Louisiana Farm Bureau/ Mr. Football award: East St. John’s Ryan Perri -lloux in 2004.

Now, he’s got company.

Lutcher quarterback Gavin Webster became the second local player to earn the title of Mr. Football, beating out runner-up Kenny Hilliard, the junior running back of Class 3A Patterson.

The second-year Bulldogs starter overcame a rough start in 2008 to lead his team to last year’s Class 3A state championship. Then he came back poised and confident to lead them to an undefeated regular season and the District 8-4A district championship.

But the Bulldogs’ dreams of back-to-back titles – and their first Class 4A championship – fell short with a 42-0 loss to Neville in the semifinals.

Webster’s numbers were astounding. In 10 regular season games he completed 151 of 217 passes for 2,390 yards and 32 touchdowns with five interceptions.

He also rushed for 730 yards and 16 touchdowns on 111 carries. The four additional games allowed him to finish with 2,962 yards and 38 touchdowns passing and 1,350 yards and 26 touchdowns rushing.

“He was born to run the spread offense,” Lutcher coach Tim Detillier said.

“His stats are almost unbelievable, and even more so when you realize that he rarely played four quarters. Most of those stats came in three quarters or less. That’s astounding, that he can put up those numbers when he’s on the sideline cheering with me in the fourth quarter.”

And time and again, he has taken even defensive geniuses to school.

When Hahnville successfully shutdown Lutcher’s passing game, double-and triple-teaming sure-handed wide receiver Jarvis Landry, Webster just changed gears and rushed for 299 yards and five touchdowns in a 43-34 double overtime win. When Destrehan gave up the passing lanes to try to slow the Bulldogs up front, Webster passed for 349 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-10 win.

“Against Hahnville, that was a pretty tough game,” Webster said. “We saw some things on the defense that we tried to take advantage of, me as an extra runner, and I got Daniel Taylor as an extra blocker. We just took what they were giving us. They were triple-double teaming Jarvis so couldn’t really force nothing to him when they got triple coverage on him.

“Against Destrehan, it was just sitting back and letting me read the defense, and I was just sitting back there picking away and picking away. “

And Webster said he’ll take either scenario.

“I just love playing quarterback, period,” he said. “Running, passing it’s all fun.”

Webster said the best part is the winning.

“Coming into the season I knew we had talent, but even I didn’t believe we’d be (undefeated),” he said. “I knew deep down inside, but it was just getting everybody to believe it.”

Enough winning, in fact, to make Webster Mr. Football in 2009 – news that he allowed one of his biggest supporters to deliver to perhaps his biggest supporter of all.

“He wanted me to call his mom and tell her the news,” said Detillier. “All she did was scream for joy. It was a Kodak moment for sure. She’s such a quiet lady too. But that goes to show what a huge honor this is for Gavin.”

Lori Lyons of the LSWA contributed to this story.