KAPLAN — It was raining points in Kaplan Friday night, but unfortunately for the Pirates, West St. Mary was doing all the damage as the Wolfpack won, 72-22.
The Wolfpack (4-0, 0-0) put up 35 first-quarter points, 42 total in the first half, to make it a no-doubter from the early goings.
“We weren’t trying to run up the score or anything,” Wolfpack coach Ryan Antoine said. “We just exploded on offense. It was on tonight.”
Daijuan Stewart got the Wolfpack scoring avalanche going in the first period, nabbing a tipped pass from quarterback Tre’vell Dixon in the end zone for a 7-0 lead.
The Dixon-Stewart connection would become a recurring theme in the game, as the two combined for 272 yards and five touchdowns through the air.
Dixon was 15-for-22 passing for 358 yards with six touchdowns.
The Pirates finally got on the board at the 8:15 mark in the third quarter when Kameron Abshire hit Dylan Roussel for a 64-yard catch-and-run.
Abshire and Roussel connected again with 1:57 left in the third, Abshire hitting a streaking Roussel in stride for a 72-yard TD.
Kaplan coach Stephen Lotief said that, despite the final score, there were positives in the game for the Pirates.
“I felt we did a lot of good things, offensively and defensively,” he said.
But Lotief said his team was surprised by the Wolfpack’s aerial assault.
“They came out in no-back sets and kind of shook us,” he said. “We didn’t expect that at all. I can’t take anything away from them, they executed.”
The Wolfpack caused havoc for the Pirates in all facets of the game. Mason Robinson and Robert Martin each recovered Kaplan fumbles and returned them for long touchdowns and Glenn Marsh returned a kickoff, on a designed reverse, with just 57 seconds left in the game for the final score.
Stewart led the Wolfpack in rushing as well as receiving, gaining 83 yards on two carries with a touchdown.
Fullback Sammy Hoffpauir had 24 carries for 112 yards for Kaplan. He was just behind his teammate, Jante Rutland, who led all rushers with 120 yards on 13 totes.
There were more than 900 total yards gained in the game. West St. Mary led the way with 488, while Kaplan compiled 424 total yards. In the end though, the only stat that matters is the blowout score.
“We came here last year and we lost a bad one,” said Antoine. “It didn’t sit well with us the whole year. We preached it, ‘Let’s go out there and show Kaplan and everybody in the state that this West St. Mary team is for real.’”
West St. Mary has a big opponent next week when it hosts 5A Walker (1-3, 0-0) on Friday night.
“We were able to come out of this game fairly healthy,” said Antoine. “We were able to do some good things and rest some of our guys that didn’t play tonight. We wanted to go up against Walker, a big 5A team, with good numbers so we could maybe go out there and compete against them.”