Road to the Dome: Wildcats fall in first round; Comets, Rebels and Rams move on

Published 11:00 pm Friday, November 11, 2016

RESERVE — The Riverside Academy football team did move on to the second round of the Division III playoffs Friday night, beating Sacred Heart of Ville Platte 48-14.

It just took a little longer than usual.

Riverside had to contend with a Sacred Heart team that threw the ball on virtually every down — often unsuccessfully — plus an officiating squad that called more than 30 penalties in the game.

It added up to a long night for both teams, but the Rebels (9-1), the No. 1 seed in the Division III bracket, advance to play No. 9 seed Ouachita Christian in next week’s quarterfinal. Sacred Heart, the No. 16 seed, finished 5-6.

Sacred Heart’s game plan appeared to be to keep the ball away from the Rebels as much as possible. The Trojans did that with a 22-play opening drive helped by a couple of Hail Mary passes and a slew of penalties against the Rebels.

The drive stalled at the Rebels’ 17-yard line.

When the Rebels got the ball, they took care of business, scoring on all six of their possessions in the first half to roll up a 41-0 lead.

With a version on running time rolling in the second half, Sacred Heart managed to score a pair of late touchdowns against the Rebels’ non-starters.

The first string defense, however, put forth a heroic effort all night against Trojans quarterback Wesley Launey, who threw 42 passes and collected 188 yards. He was sacked five times.

The defense’s worst enemy, though, was its offense, which scored at will in the first half. At one point the defense had less than a minute of clock time to rest between Riverside touchdowns — one with 7:57 remaining in the second quarter, the next with 7:19 remaining after Sacred Heart threw three incomplete passes and punted.

Quarterback Jordan Loving passed for 157 yards and three touchdowns. Jared Butler caught one of those for a 19-yard touchdown. He later replaced Loving at quarterback and threw a 9-yard pass to Avonti Cannon.

Kash Foley caught a pair of touchdown passes from Loving, one for a 21-yard score and another for 68-yards.

Loving also ran for a touchdown.

West St. John 25, East Feliciana 12

Just as they did in last year’s playoffs, the No. 29 seeded Rams upset the No. 9 seed to advance in the Class 2A bracket.

West St. John (4-7) advances to play No. 8 seed South Plaquemine in next week’s second round.

After trailing 6-0 at the half, the Rams rallied in the third quarter with a 12-play, 4:02 drive. Aason Moll scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 5-yard pass from Austin Alexander.

Marcus Boudoin later caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Alexander. Kedric Gray scored on a 70-yard pass from Alexander to make the score 19-12 with 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Alexander went 35 yards for the final score.

Barbe 23, East St. John 19

In Lake Charles, the No. 23 seeded Wildcats were knocked out by No. 10 seed Barbe with a Hail Mary touchdown pass with 2 seconds remaining in the game.

East St. John had led the Bucs 12-10 at the half following a 27-yard touchdown pass from Dasmain Crosby to C.J. Turner and a 52-yard kickoff return by Turner.

ESJ had the ball third and 4 at the Barbe 41-yard line with 1:35 remaining but couldn’t convert.

Barbe took over at its own 20 and drove to the East St. John 41 with 16 seconds remaining.

St. Charles 45, Thomas Jefferson 6

The No. 3 seeded Comets advanced to the quarterfinals with a big win over No. 14 seed Thomas Jefferson.

St. Charles will play No. 6 seed Calvary Baptist, which defeated No. 11 seed Opelousas Catholic 56-47 Friday night.

The Comets rolled up 375 yards of offense against the Jaguars. Narquez Jones had 96 of those yards and scored three touchdowns. Phillip Tran rushed for 109 yards and a score.

Backup quarterback Robbie Gilbert threw a touchdown pass to starter Lloyd Nash.

The Comets’ defense held Thomas Jefferson to 110 yards, of which 86 was amassed in the fourth quarter.