Rayne shuts out Morgan City
By GEOFF STOUTE
Morgan City’s defense hung tough early in its 36-0 loss to Rayne Friday.
But like so many times before this year, too much time spent on the field due to a lack of offense by the Tigers, coupled with turnovers, helped Rayne pull away for a 36-0 win in nondistrict action.
While the Tigers’ defense surrendered a touchdown on a one-yard run by Javon Cormier and quarterback Tyler LeJeune’s two-point pass to Grant Menard was good for an 8-0 lead with 9:57 remaining in the first quarter, the Tigers’ held Rayne back on its next two drives.
The first of those drives was thwarted by a touchback when LeJeune fumbled at the 2-yard line and the ball rolled out of the end zone.
On the first drive, Rayne (6-0), who was receiving votes in the latest Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 4A poll, got the ball at the Morgan City 17 following a fumble on the Tigers’ second offensive play of the game.
While Rayne scored again in the second quarter, it came via a defensive touchdown as LeJeune picked off Morgan City quarterback Hector Tolento and returned the interception 42 yards for a 15-0 Rayne advantage with 10:14 remaining in the half.
Following the kickoff, the Tigers quickly turned the ball back over with a lost fumble at the Morgan City 13-yard line that Trent Duhon turned into a touchdown three plays later on a 4-yard run and a 22-0 advantage with 7:19 remaining in the second quarter.
Although Morgan City’s defense welcomed back Kolbi Chatman, who sat out the past two weeks with an injury, the Tigers were without standout defensive lineman and University of Louisiana at Lafayette commitment Daryl Johnson, Clifton Escort and Kevon Marsh, who also is the Tigers’ leading rusher.
Johnson dressed out for the contest, but Marsh didn’t.
On Thursday, Morgan City head coach Dennis Lorio said the duo was listed as “doubtful” for the contest due to injuries, while he said Escort was unavailable Friday because of injury.
Without Marsh, Morgan City’s ground game struggled as it was limited to minus 8 yards on 42 carries.
Rayne, meanwhile, total 373 yards of offense, including 246 yards rushing.
Duhon led Rayne with 10 carries for 128 yards and two scores, while Cormier had 15 carries for 69 yards and a score.
Darien Verdun led Morgan City with 17 yards on 16 carries, while Tolento completed three of six passes for 19 yards and one interception.
Buddy Humphrey caught all three of Tolento’s passes.
In the second half of Friday’s game, Rayne scored two touchdowns, one on a 20-yard run by Duhon at the 7:46 mark of the third quarter, and a final one with 9:41 left in the game via Cormier’s 11-yard run.
Morgan City (0-6) will return to action Friday when it opens district play by hosting Ellender for homecoming at Tiger Stadium.