MORGAN CITY — Morgan City High’s Eric Walker rushed for 158 yards and scored four touchdowns, and MCHS coach Brandon Nowlin said he saw likely his squad’s best offensive performance of the season in a 35-13 homecoming victory against Pearl River Friday.
Morgan City scored touchdowns on four of its six offensive drives, including its first three, in jumping out to a 21-7 halftime lead.
Walker, who carried the football 23 times, was responsible for Morgan City’s first three touchdowns — all rushes — as he reached the end zone from two yards out in the first quarter at the 7:14 mark and again with from nine yards out with 11 seconds remaining in the first quarter for a 14-0 advantage.
After a three and out on its first drive of the game, Pearl River came alive on its second possession, moving the ball 98 yards, including 17 consecutive running plays. The drive was capped with Pearl River’s first pass attempt as quarterback Zach Vicknair, following a Pearl River timeout, hit Larry Hale for a for a nine-yard touchdown in the second quarter to cut the MCHS lead to 14-7.
However, Walker and Morgan City came right back on a five-play, 61 yard drive, capped by Walker’s six-yard run. Walker carried the football on every play of the drive.
“I thought we played really well on offense,” said Nowlin, whose squad improved to 4-0 on the season. “(We) shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times with some drives where we false started here, there, whatever, but overall, (it was) probably the best football game that we’ve played on offense this year.”
Pearl River, who finished the game with 255 yards of total offense, including 240 rushing, moved the ball into Morgan City territory three times during the ball game. Besides its first score on its second drive of the ball game, Pearl River also scored a touchdown on its second-to-last drive of the ballgame. But it never could keep pace with Morgan City.
The one time the Rebels came up empty after moving into Morgan City territory came on the final drive of the first half. The possession, highlighted by a 53 yard Nick Pichon run on a reverse, stalled at the Morgan City 18.
“Defensively, we knew they were going to run the ball and pound you and pound you,” Nowlin said.
The MCHS coach said his squad had to make some adjustments to the Pearl River running attack, but he said he thought his defense did a good job implementing those adjustments.
In the second half, Morgan City added consecutive touchdowns on its first two possessions, a Walker three-yard run with 5:03 left in the third quarter and a 22-yard reception by Etoyi Jones from MCHS quarterback Hoang Nguyen with 11:45 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Pearl River capped the game’s scoring with a two-yard Vicknair run with 6:25 remaining in the contest to cap a 10-plus play drive.
“Both times they scored, they had to use a lot of clock, a lot of field to get in the end zone,” Nowlin said.
Morgan City piled up 344 yards of total offense in the victory.
Besides Walker’s contributions, Nguyen completed seven of 10 passes for 119 yards and a score.
For Pearl River, Brent Bourgeois led the rushing attack with 21 carries for 104 yards, while Pichon added three carries for 73 yards and Aaron Roberson had 18 totes for 67 yards.
Vicknair completed both his pass attempts for 15 yards and a score.
Now, Morgan City turns its attention to its final non-district game, a matchup at Franklin Friday. Franklin handed Morgan City a 6-0 loss this year in the St. Mary Parish Jamboree.