LOREAUVILLE — Central Catholic Eagle fans that traveled to Saturday’s week 1 matchup against Loreauville High saw plenty of offense.
The problem was Loreauville had more.
Behind six touchdowns and 274 yards from senior Jermaine Antoine, Loreauville High rolled past CCHS, 54-31.
While the game originally was supposed to be played Saturday in Morgan City, the game was moved to Loreauville because the field at Tiger Stadium in Morgan City was not in good condition, CCHS coach David Fuhrer said.
Playing before its home crowd, Loreauville rushed for a team high 525 yards.
The Eagles struggled to corral Loreauville ball carriers as every Loreauville rusher recorded more than 100 yards on the ground. Antoine led a charge that also included juniors, running back Spencer Mitchell (22 carries, 130 yards and a score) and Raymond Bonnette (eight carries, 121 yards and a touchdown).
“We got the athletes to do that on offense,” LHS coach Trent Delahoussaye said of the run-heavy offense.
However, he explained just as quickly that LHS must improve its passing game.
While the Loreauville offense moved the ball at will for most of the game, the Central Catholic offense struggled for much of the first half.
The Eagles didn’t record a first down until late in the second quarter and finished the first half with just two. Much of the Eagles’ first half offense came via the final play of the half when seniors quarterback Josh Singleton and wide receiver Luke Landry, connected on a 40-yard Hail Mary pass as time expired to cut the Loreauville lead to 26-13 at the half.
Trailing 6-0 after Antoine scored Loreauville’s first touchdown on a 2-yard run with 7:32 remaining, CCHS took its only of the ball game approximately three minutes later when CCHS freshman defender Stefano Guarisco picked off Bonnette near the CCHS sideline and returned the pick 62 yards down the Eagles sideline for a 7-6 CCHS lead with 4:14 remaining.
Antoine responded with consecutive touchdowns, a 10 yard run with 36.5 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and a 7-yard run with 8:01 left in the second quarter for a 20-7 Loreauville lead.
The Tigers added another scored later in the quarter when Bonnette broke away from multiple CCHS defenders for a 63 yard run. Loreauville place-kicker Devin LeBlanc’s extra point attempt was no good, but Loreauville led 26-7 with 2:13 remaining in the first half.
“First of all Loreauville’s a very good football team,” Fuhrer said. “They’re Loreauville, and they run the ball. We knew coming in that’s what they were going to do and that’s what we needed to stop. We didn’t. A lot of it is them. A lot of it is us. … Things we can fix we’re going to fix.”
CCHS closed out the half with Singleton’s Hail Mary to Landry, which the Eagles’ wide receiver dove for in the end zone after it was tipped near the goal line.
CCHS place kicker Matthew Barbier’s extra point was blocked, but CCHS cut the lead to 26-13.
“They scored on (a) pick 6, Hail Marys,” Delahoussaye said. “We got to be able to stop those things.”
Both teams traded touchdowns for much of the second half as Loreauville’s Antoine scored on a 65 yard run on Loreauville’s first offensive play in the second half and added a 39 yard touchdown run on the Tigers’ next possession. He also hauled in a 46 yard touchdown pass from Bonnette on the quarterback’s lone pass completion.
“That’s Jermaine Antoine,” Delahoussaye said of the running back’s dominant performance. “That is what Jermaine Antoine does. He’s a senior. He’s our go-to guy on offense right now.”
Mitchell added a four yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter for Loreauville’s final score.
Landry scored the Eagles’ lone rushing touchdown of the game on an 8-yard run, while Singleton tossed two touchdown passes, a 70 yard strike to Lamar Grogan and a 5 yard pass to Dontrell Brown.
Singleton led the CCHS offense as he completed 17 of 28 passes for 237 yards and three scores, while he rushed 10 times for 53 yards.
Grogan led the CCHS receivers with five catches for 136 yards and a touchdown.
CCHS finished the game with 315 yards of offense, but only 79 of those were rushing yards.
“On offense, they basically took away the run from us and made us pass,” Fuhrer said. “Obviously we did a pretty good job of that. It stinks to come here and lose like that. It’s a good football team. We made a lot of mistakes, and that’s not a good combination. But they are things we can fix.”
While he said that the topsy-turvy week of missing practice had a factor on his squad’s performance, Fuhrer said it wasn’t an excuse. He said he didn’t regret playing the game, either.
“We did everything we could to make it as normal as we could. … We just got behind and dug ourselves a little bit of a hole … No excuses. They were a good football team. We just didn’t take care of business,” he said.