VC storms past Eagles in second half
By: GEOFFREY STOUTE
MORGAN CITY — Entering Friday’s matchup with Vermilion Catholic, Central Catholic knew it was in for a tough battle as the winner would claim the District 8-1A title.
What it didn’t know is that undefeated VC wouldn’t just battle the homestanding Eagles, they would rout them.
Vermilion Catholic shut out CCHS in the second half, 26-0, turning a close game into a 62-29 thrashing.
Up 36-29 at the half, Vermilion Catholic received the second half kickoff and scored less than three minutes into the half on an Aaron David 31 yard strike to Dustin Desormeaux for a 43-29 VC lead with 9:30 left in the third quarter.
Jacoby Davis, who gashed the Central Catholic defense for 216 yards on 30 carries and three touchdowns and added two receptions for 86 yards — both for scores — scored the Screaming Eagles next two touchdowns on a 2 yard run with 4:18 remaining in the third quarter and a 49 yard pass from David with 11:51 remaining in the fourth quarter. Place kicker Ben Primeaux’s extra points failed on both scores.
“He’s a warrior,” VC coach Trev Faulk said of Davis. “We have a lot of warriors. Our line did a great job of blocking and giving us some creases, and we talked to our kids about this being a game of will. I thought that tonight his will along with the rest of our team’s will was up for the challenge, and our kids did a great job of competing.”
Mark LaPorte added the final Vermilion Catholic score on an 8 yard score with 5:32 remaining for the 62-29 final.
“Heck of a football team over there,” CCHS coach David Fuhrer said of VC. “I got my hats off to them and their coaching staff. We just shot ourselves in the foot early in the second half and it just snowballed. We didn’t do things right. They smelled blood, and they went for it. They whipped us in the second half and they’re a very good football team.”
Faulk, a former LSU standout in the first year of his first head coaching gig, finished 10-0 and undefeated in district at 4-0.
“It’s unbelievable, man,” Faulk said. “It’s unbelievable. (I’m) just happy for our kids and for the entire VC family. Everybody had a hand in contributing to this, and I’m just glad that we were able to get it done.”
Faulk said the second half shutout was a matter of making some halftime adjustments and his squad tackling better.
“We gave up more points in the first half than we had given up in any complete game this season,” Faulk said. “We just talked to them and told them to play the way we played the entire season up to this point.”
While the second half was all VC, the first half was a much different story — even if it didn’t look that way, initially.
After Lamar Grogan stripped Davis following a 7 yard gain at the CCHS 8 yard line and CCHS defender Brent Green recovered the fumble at the CCHS 1, CCHS made its first mistake of the night.
On CCHS’ first offensive play, Singleton was sacked for a safety by VC’s Derek Broussard and a quick 2-0 lead with 9:37 left in the first quarter.
VC received the ball again via a free kick and after David reeled off a 23 yard run on first down he caught a pass from David and darted 37 yards for a touchdown and a 9-0 VC with 8:13 remaining in the first quarter.
Singleton, who faced pressure all night (CCHS quarterbacks were sacked seven times), was intercepted under pressure on the third play of the Eagles’ second drive. VC’s LaPorte hauled in the pick at the CCHS 36 and raced 64 yards down the VC sideline for a score with 7:39 remaining, extending the VC lead to 16-0.
CCHS finally got on the board late in the first quarter receiving the ball in VC territory, courtesy of an 8 yard Primeaux punt that sailed out of bounds at the Vermilion 44.
CCHS’ Grogan capped the drive with a 4 yard run, and Singleton’s two-point conversion pass to Dontrell Brown was good, cutting the VC lead to 16-8 with 2:44 remaining in the first half.
The Eagles would tie the game at 16 on its next drive on a Grogan 16 yard run and subsequent two point conversion pass from Singleton to Grogan with 10:25 left.
Then, the lead changes began.
First, Vermilion retook the lead on its next possession when David found his cousin, R. David, for a 58 yard score. Primeaux’s kick was no good for a 22-16 VC lead.
But just as it did previously, CCHS came roaring back when Singleton alluded pressure from the VC defense and found Brown for a 60 yard scoring pass giving CCHS the lead again at 23-22.
“I think at the beginning, we came out on an emotional high and then that kinda wore off,” Faulk said. “You got to give a lot of credit to those guys (CCHS). They got a heck of a team. They got some really good players and their coaches do a good job.”
Despite surrendering the lead, Vermilion was unfazed as it drove down the field on its next drive for a score, capped by a Davis 12 yard run with 6:07 remaining in the second quarter for a 29-23 VC lead.
VC would score again quickly on the ensuing drive after Shay LaPorte recovered the kickoff at the CCHS 5, which Grogan and CCHS’ Kendal Robinson let roll to a stop, apparently mistaking it for a punt. While the ball is dead once it stops on a punt, it is live after traveling 10 yards on a kickoff.
Davis punched the ball into the end zone for a 36-23 VC advantage with 5:14 left in the half.
CCHS responded on its next possession with a 39 yard score, but Brown’s extra point was blocked by S. LaPorte for a 36-29 VC lead with 2:32 remaining in the second quarter.
Singleton completed 16 of 29 passes for 238 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Brown led the CCHS receivers with five receptions for 132 yards and a score.
Grogan led the Eagles with 12 rushes for 140 yards and three touchdowns. However, all but four of those yards came in the first half.
For VC, David completed 11 of 21 passes for 244 yards and four touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions.
Besides Davis, Desormeaux hauled in four passes for 39 yards and a score, while Ryan David snared three passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Points weren’t the only thing that were racked up in bunches, either, as both teams combined for 24 penalties for 210 yards. CCHS had nine penalties for 95 yards, while VC had 15 penalties for 115 yards.
CCHS, who advanced to the playoffs at the No. 9 seed, will host No. 24 Varnado in the first round of the playoffs this week.
VC also will advance to the playoffs as the No. 2 seed and will host No. 31 Archbishop Hannan in first round action.