MORGAN CITY — Quick.
That’s the only way to describe Central Catholic’s 41-0 rout of a shorthanded Gueydan squad Thursday.
Not only did Central Catholic score quickly in the District 8-1A contest, but the game ended briskly after a half of play at the request of Gueydan Principal Luddy Herpin and head football coach Jay Landry.
At the end of halftime, Herpin and Landry asked an official to request from Central Catholic Principal Vic Bonnaffee and head football coach David Fuhrer that the game be stopped because of injuries on a team that dressed out just 21 players, Bonnaffee said.
Bonnaffee and Fuhrer agreed, and instead of lining up for a second-half kickoff, both teams met at midfield and shook hands.
Bonnaffee, a member of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s executive committee, said that as per LHSAA rules, a game can be called at any time if both principals and head coaches agree to it.
The game still counts as a win for CCHS, he said.
He said this is the first time in his 36 years of administration that he has seen a game called.
Landry said that he and his principal agreed to ask for the rest of the game to be called because Gueydan still has two games remaining in the regular season that they didn’t want to put their team in jeopardy of not being able to play because of players out.
“Between injuries and illness, we had five or six kids that were about to be out in the second half, so we were getting to a point where we literally did not have enough kids to finish the game, at least … position wise. … We have two games left,” Landry said.
“We can’t afford to be having injuries that get much worse or get a kid hurt in the second half worse than what they already are or put a kid on the field who’s sick and throwing up and put us in a position where we can’t finish the season. That was the reason behind it, and we weren’t going to come back and win the game. So the bottom line is we have to look forward to the next two games. We have a season to finish.”
Landry said the decision had nothing to do with the score, noting his squad has had bigger deficits than Thursday’s and that if he had enough players to finish the game, he would have.
Fuhrer, who said Gueydan’s quarterback was injured during the game, said, “I have a lot of respect for coach Landry at Gueydan. I’ve been knowing him for years. (I have) a lot of respect for their kids. They never have a whole lot of kids that go out for football … Those guys go to practice every day and they play hard and they give it everything they’ve got. You just feel for them and you know that when it was requested that we call the game, I knew they wouldn’t do it just to do it.”
Landry said this is the first time he has ever had to ask for a game to be stopped, but this isn’t the first time he has had to consider it.
“We’ve thought that there might (have) been a possibility at some time we (would have) had to (but) we’ve never had to,” Landry said.
As for the game, Gueydan had much of its success on its first drive of the night as the offense drove down near the CCHS red zone. However, Gueydan’s feature back, Trevor Derouen, was stopped a yard short of a first down on fourth down, and Central Catholic took over.
From then on, it didn’t take the Eagles long to score.
Just five plays later, CCHS quarterback Luke Landry completed a 45-yard pass to Tyler Hoffpauir for a touchdown and a 6-0 CCHS lead with 5:25 remaining.
On the ensuing kickoff, Landry recovered a Gueydan fumble at the Gueydan 32, and on the first offensive play, Landry completed a pass to freshman Stefano Guarisco, who followed his blocking before slipping a Gueydan tackle near the goal line for the Eagles’ second touchdown in 13 seconds.
CCHS extended its lead in the second quarter via a Josh Singleton 15-yard run with 11:17 remaining in the half and a Landry 38-yard run with 10:51 remaining after the Eagles’ defense recovered a Gueydan fumble for a 27-0 CCHS advantage.
The Eagles closed the scoring with touchdowns on Landry’s 29-yard pass to Hoffpauir with 8:15 remaining and a Landry 24-yard run with 12 seconds remaining for the final.
Landry again had a huge night for CCHS as he rushed five times for 125 yards and scored three touchdowns, while through the air, he completed seven of 10 passes for 136 yards and three more scores.
Josh Singleton added two rushes for 42 yards and a score and Josh Protti, four totes for 40 yards.
In all, the Eagles rushed the ball just 11 times for 207 yards and four scores.
Hoffpauir led the CCHS receivers with two catches for 74 yards and two scores, while Guarisco caught two passes for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Fuhrer said he was proud of his squad’s effort.
CCHS finished the evening with 343 total yards, while limiting Gueydan to just 90 yards, all on the ground.
“With the few players we have missing, we really couldn’t move the ball,” Landry said. “We’ve been hanging our hat on offense all year long. We were just in a bind. We were just scratching and clawing and doing everything we could to get through the game.”
Derouen, who Fuhrer called a “phenomenal athlete,” was limited to 30 yards on nine carries.