Central Lafourche head football coach Keith Menard wasn’t afraid to tell reporters his disappointment with how poorly the Trojans played last week in the South Lafourche Jamboree, calling it one of the most disappointing performances in his short career as the team’s coach.
Menard’s vocal frustrations must have sent a message to Central Lafourche’s players. Because riding off the disappointing effort, the Trojans rebounded and won the first game of the regular season.
Thanks to a dominant defensive effort, Central walloped Franklin in the opening game of the season in a dominant 24-0 victory.
The Trojans limited their foe to just 75 total yards in the win – a total 180 from the team’s 22-0 exhibition loss a week prior against Belle Chasse where Central Lafourche was routinely gashed for big plays in the running game.
“I thought we did a nice job tonight – a nice start to the season,” Menard said after the win. “I thought we really set the tempo on defense with how we sort of dominated the line of scrimmage and caused some problems for them. It wasn’t perfect. We still have plenty to work on. But to start the season, I think it was a job well done.”
The Trojans controlled the game from its earliest minutes. The first points in the victory came on a nine play, 80-yard opening drive that Central capped with a one-yard touchdown run from halfback Da’Quan Gray with 7:03 to go in the first quarter of play. A failed two-point conversion attempt gave the Trojans a 6-0 lead.
The talented Trojans’ ball carrier set up his own score a few plays before the touchdown with a 46-yard scamper that put Central deep into Franklin territory.
After a quiet end to the first quarter, Central added seven points to its lead early in the second quarter when quarterback Austin Aucoin connected with receiver Logan Maronge for a 44-yard touchdown strike. Kicker Brader Dufrene’s PAT lifted Central’s lead to 13-0 with 10:19 to go in the opening half.
After forcing a change of possession, the Trojans added eight more points to their tally when halfback Thomas Wesley scampered 67 yards past Franklin’s defense and into the end zone. A successful two-point try put the Trojans up 21-0 – a lead they carried into halftime.
In the second half, the tempo of the game slowed down greatly as Franklin’s offense continued to struggle and the Trojans worked to salt away the clock.
The final points of the game came late in the third quarter when Dufrene buried a short field goal to run the score to 24-0, which turned out to be the game’s final margin.
With the win, Central Lafourche will stay at home this week for a non-district matchup with J.S. Clark.
Menard said he wants his team to continue to build leading into district play.
“Just keep progressing,” Menard said. “We want to correct some of our mistakes and keep working. We have a long road to go, but it’s always good to get the first one. We’re happy about that.”
Tarpons crushed by state powerhouse
While Central Lafourche rejoiced a season-opening victory, the South Lafourche football team was busy struggling against arguably the best public school in all of Class 4A.
The Tarpons traveled to Algiers on Friday night for a non-district battle with Landry-Walker. The opening minutes were competitive and exciting, but by halftime, the drama was over as the Chargin’ Bucs roared to an easy 54-15 win.
The loss marks the second-straight year that the Tarpons fall to Landry-Walker to open the season. The metro-based public school scored a 7-0 victory to open the 2013 season in Galliano.
“Landry-Walker is a great football team,” South Lafourche head football coach Dennis Skains said. “They did some things that gave us some problems and we had some breakdowns and some other things that we have to correct going forward as we get ready for the second week of the season.”
Early in the game, it looked like South Lafourche was prime for an upset of the Chargin’ Bucs, who opened the season ranked as the No. 3 team in the state in Class 4A.
Landry-Walker fell behind 2-0 on their opening drive when senior defensive tackle Marvel Bourgeois plunged through the line of scrimmage and sacked the Chargin’ Bucs’ quarterback in the end zone for a safety.
After yielding a touchdown to fall behind 8-2, the Tarpons fired back again when junior quarterback Harvey Allen rushed for a 13-yard touchdown to put South Lafourche ahead 9-8. Allen set up his own touchdown one play before when he broke through the line of scrimmage and scampered 63 yards deep into Landry-Walker territory.
But after the early onslaught, the Tarpons had no answer for the Chargin’ Bucs, who dominated the rest of the game. Landry-Walker’s up-tempo, fast-paced offense scored 38-straight points in the final 17 minutes of the first half to send the Bucs into halftime with a 46-9 lead.
From there, Landry-Walker slowed its tempo and ended its scoring onslaught in the second half, getting just a lone third-quarter touchdown to go ahead 54-9
Not wanting to go home without a fight, the Tarpons’ offense showed pride in the final seconds, driving down the field and scoring a touchdown on the game’s final play on a six-yard scamper from Allen – his second touchdown of the day, which sent the game to its final score.
The Tarpons will return home this week and play host to South Plaquemines at 7 p.m.
Skains said the opening-week blowout loss is a disappointment, but after viewing the film, he noticed something that he sees as a positive.
“We saw the tape and saw what we expected to see,” Skains said. “And that’s that we have some guys here who are a heck of a football player. We will work hard to correct our mistakes and we’ll make sure that we’re lined up properly and all of those things.
“But there’s no one in here that’s going to get discouraged or quit or anything like that. We still have all of our goals ahead of us and that’s the thing that I love about these kids – there’s no quit in them. None at all.”
Posted on Tue, September 9, 2014
by Casey Gisclair, Contributing Writer