Ouachita Christian’s depth, talent too much for CCHS

By: SCOTT JOINER
MONROE — Central Catholic’s football team scored first in its quarterfinal playoff game against Ouachita Christian on Friday in Monroe.

Dontrell Brown snagged a fumble at the 10-yard line on OCS’ opening drive of the game and scurried 90 yards for a touchdown to take a 6-0 CCHS lead with 7 minutes, 17 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Eagles kept it close, trailing 13-6 at halftime, but ended up on the losing end, 41-6, to the No. 1 seed.

“In the first half, we left too many opportunities on the field,” CCHS coach David Fuhrer said. “And that drive in the second half, you can’t do that against a team like Ouachita Christian. You have to take care of all of your opportunities that you get. I thought we had some in the first half, and we didn’t get them. They were there, we just didn’t take advantage of it.”

Ouachita Christian took the lead late in the first quarter on a delayed quarterback draw by Braden Bristo that resulted in a 47-yard touchdown run. Toby Pruett tacked on the extra point for a 7-6 OCS lead.

CCHS quarterback Josh Singleton was under heavy pressure for much of the first half. The Eagles were able to keep the OCS offense contained after the Bristo touchdown.

But, with five minutes remaining in the first half, sophomore Ahkeem Henderson scored on a 28-yard run on the third play of OCS’ drive.

Henderson scored on just his fifth carry of the game as the deep OCS roster steadily chipped away at No. 9 CCHS’ defense with a steady flow of fresh legs.

The Eagles two-minute drill looked like it might swing momentum late in the second quarter. Starting from their own 40, the Eagles drove 13 plays to the OCS 8-yard line and were poised to take the lead at halftime.

Singleton rolled to his right and fired a pass to the end zone near the pylon that was slightly off target. OCS defensive back Mark Laird dove in front of the CCHS receiver to snag an interception that ended the half with the Eagles trailing 13-6.

The play was likely a turning point with the Eagles poised to take the lead and receive the kickoff to start the third quarter.

“We’re moving the ball at that point and I thought we did some good things at the end of the second quarter, a one-score game, and we get the ball to start the second half,” Fuhrer said. “We did some good stuff, but you’ve got to give them credit. They had a good game plan for our offense. It was a tough one.”

When the Eagles didn’t score to start the third quarter, OCS began to pull away with a touchdown on the ensuing drive in the third quarter and two scores in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach.

“We dug ourselves a hole and in the second half they came out and took it to us,” Fuhrer said. “They have a lot (of players) on their team. They have a lot of guys they roll in and out. They’re just a very talented football team.”

Ouachita Christian moves on to face Mangham in the semifinals Friday. The winner will head to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the Class 1A state championship game against the winner of Vermilion Catholic’s game against West St. John in the other semifinal to be played Friday.

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