Morgan City pounds Berwick
By CORWIN MURRAY
MORGAN CITY — The Morgan City Tigers overpowered the Berwick Panthers, 33-14, in the final game of the St. Mary Jamboree Friday at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers, under first-year coach Dennis Lorio, rolled up nearly 250 yards rushing. Sophomore running back Jacolbi Francois exploded for 78 yards and four touchdowns, while junior Kevon Marsh added 87 yards.
“We have some good athletes with experience there (at running back), and we gotta go with what we got,” Lorio said. “Jacolbi has great feet, and when the big boys upfront block like they did tonight, he can hurt a defense.”
The game opened with fireworks on both sides.
Berwick junior Justin Morvant returned the opening kickoff 60 yards, but the Panthers offense stalled and was forced to punt.
Francois answered for Morgan City with a long punt return down to the Panthers 45-yard line.
Morgan City quarterback Jaylen Jones, a junior, darted 38-yards for the game’s first touchdown with 11:49 to play.
The teams played two 15-minute halves.
“Jaylen’s a good athlete, but he’s real raw as a quarterback,” Lorio said. “He’s got some really good quickness, but he’s going to have to be able to pass before it’s over. We’re a work in progress, but I love the effort of our kids.”
Jones rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown. He also completed two passes for 47 yards.
Berwick responded to the Morgan City’s score when senior Brooks Richard took the Tigers’ kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
“Obviously, we have some major work to do on special teams,” Lorio said. “We can’t give up big plays like that.”
From there, though, Francois took over the game.
The sophomore capped a Morgan City drive with a 12-yard touchdown with 6:17 remaining.
Berwick had its best drive just before the half, marching 69 yards on eight plays led by the running of senior quarterback Bobby Boudreaux. He had 49 rushing yards during the drive.
Boudreaux also hooked up with senior receiver Tim Shelby twice.
However, the Berwick drive was halted when junior wide out Marquis Rogers took a reverse around left end, losing 10 yards.
Richard field goal with 32 seconds remaining in the half, but the kick was just short.
Morgan City led 19-7 at halftime.
The Tigers opened the second half with another Francois touchdown to extend the lead to 26-7 with 10:58 to play. Francois added a 2-yard score to push the lead to 33-7 with 3:51 to go.
Berwick got the final score of the game on an 8-yard touchdown run from Rogers with 2:23 to play.
“They were more physical than us tonight, and they had some good athletes we had trouble containing,” Berwick head coach Craig Brodie said. “That’s been our Achilles heel, containing those great athletes like that. We had some injuries tonight, so we will regroup and get ready for the first game.”
Berwick will open its season Friday at home against Delcambre, while Morgan City will travel to White Castle Friday.