Berwick alum Clark returns pick for a score in Louisiana College rout
For the first time this season, the Louisiana College football team walked off its home field victorious as it sent the homecoming crowd out with a 42-7 win against American Southwest Conference opponent Belhaven University Saturday night.
Although the Wildcats scored 42 points, the offensive production was lower than expected with Louisiana College operating on short fields behind a dominant defensive outing.
In the first quarter, Belhaven managed only 34 yards of production, with Louisiana College not much better at 41. If not for a 43-yard completion from Mason Jordan to Drake Battaglia, the number would have been much lower for Louisiana College.
On the same drive as Battaglia’s reception that provided the bulk of the Louisiana College offense in the first, the Wildcats scored on a 15-yard pass to Zion Williams in the back corner of the end zone to give themselves a 7-0 lead just seconds into the second quarter.
A strip sack by Orel Ledet Jr on the next drive gave the ball to the Wildcats at the Belhaven 10-yard line.
Connor Maples scored one play later for a two-score lead.
A second Blazer turnover on their next drive led to the third Louisiana College score of the quarter as Travon Long intercepted Ben Owens and set Louisiana College up at the Blazer 13-yard line.
Two plays later, Jordan found Leondre James for a 5-yard score and a 21-0 Louisiana College lead less than four minutes into the second quarter.
Belhaven threatened to score late in the quarter with a lengthy drive that reached the Wildcats’ 11-yard line, but Long’s second pick stopped the drive, and Louisiana College took a 21-0 halftime lead.
The Wildcats extended their lead on a 27-yard, one-handed grab by James late in the third quarter, while Belhaven answered with their only touchdown of the night on a seven-play, 72-yard drive. It prevented the Wildcats from recording their first shutout since the 2011 season.
Aaron Woods picked up his fourth rushing touchdown of the season early in the fourth on a 10-yard scamper, and Larenz Clark, a Berwick High alum, capped the game with a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown on the next play from scrimmage, making the score 42-7.
Clark, a sophomore cornerback, finished the game with four tackles (two solo and two assists), while he also broke up one pass.
The Wildcat defense held their opponents under 300 yards of offense for the second time this season, only allowing 258 to the Blazers. The four interceptions are the most for the Wildcats in a game since picking off five passes against Belhaven during the 2016 game in Pineville.
In the game, Ledet became the program’s all-time leading tackler, passing Clay Matchett for the top spot. Ledet has 331 career stops with two games remaining in his career.
Patterson High alum and Louisiana College freshman defensive end Deondre Diggs added two tackles (one solo and one assist)
The Wildcats take on #2 ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor next weekend in Belton, Texas.