“This shows we come to play. We can play with the bigger teams,” Wolfpack Coach Ryan Antoine said. “We had some good numbers. We had to fight, but the guys did a great job.”
No matter how good they looked later, the Wolfpack had to look better after a first possession that ended with a fumble on the second play of the game — and they did.
West St. Mary weathered the pressure of a Raider opening possession that started on the Wolfpack 35, and again traded possessions with the Raiders before starting a march to the end zone. Pack quarterback Tre’vell Dixon hit receiver Daijuan Stewart with a 33-yard pass to the Raider 11 to put West St. Mary in business for the first time.
After driving as deep as the Raider 1-yard line, West St. Mary backed themselves up with a rushing loss and a holding penalty, but Dixon found Stewart again on the 10-yard touchdown pass to put the Wolfpack on the board with a 7-0 lead. With that, the Pack would never trail in the game.
The Raiders came as close as they would come two possessions later after West St. Mary’s fourth-down conversion failed at its own 33-yard line. Facing a fourth down of its own, Northwest completed a 34-yard for a score that brought the Raiders within 7-6; the point-after kick failed.
Wolfpack running back Glenn Marsh started and ended the ensuing drive for West St. Mary, with a kickoff return near midfield and a 36-yard scoring scamper that put the Pack up 14-6.
Another trading of possession later, the Pack took over at the Raider 47-yard line and promptly launched a two-play scoring drive, a 21-yard reception by Stewart and a 26-yard ramble by Marsh. The Wolfpack then made a defensive stand, registering a quarterback sack and a 12-yard loss for the Raiders at the Pack 37 just before halftime and preserving the 21-6 lead.
Northwest struck quickly after halftime, launching a 62-yard touchdown reception on the third play of the half. West St. Mary again one-upped the Raiders, however, with Jontry Tillman breaking a 72-yard romp to the end zone in the lone play of the scoring drive to put the Pack ahead 28-13.
Scoring slowed down then, with Northwest failing to move out of its own end zone and Dixon leaving the game with an injury two plays into West St. Mary’s next possession. He did not return.
With Dixon sidelined, Stewart took over the signal-calling duties, and the Wolfpack went exclusively to the run game. With Stewart under center for his first series, the Pack had only two plays that didn’t result in positive yardage.
While the Pack couldn’t tack on another touchdown, Jovan Anderson put the last points on the board with a 26-yard field goal two plays into the fourth quarter.
For most of the rest of the game, there was little threat of a score, but Northwest partially blocked a WSM punt to take over on its last possession at the Pack 41. After getting a big run down to the Pack 12, a high snap was covered by Northwest after a 19-yard loss.
The next play was a 98-yard interception return by Tillman, but the play was called back on a penalty for blocking in the back. West St. Mary then ran out the clock.
“We had a lot of penalties, we still did a lot of things wrong, but I have to give my guys credit,” Antoine said.
The penalties piled up for both teams, as the Wolfpack garnered 10 penalties for 110 yards, while the Raiders were busted 11 times for 88 yards.
While the Raiders had fewer penalty yards, however, they were hurt more by those penalties. The Raiders managed only 129 total yards of offense, with 137 yards through the air on five completions in 23 attempts; and minus-8 yards on 20 rushing attempts.
West St. Mary, by comparison, rolled up 280 yards rushing on 44 attempts and 100 yards passing on 10 completions in 14 attempts. Dixon tallied all of the passing attempts and yardage.
“Glenn Marsh, our sophomore running back, is in his first year playing running back, and he showed us some great moves,” Antoine said. Stewart “had a monster game. He was injured all week, and we didn’t know if he’d play much, and he really stepped up when Dixon went down.”
Tillman led the Wolfpack with 118 yards on eight rushes. Marsh added 90 yards on 12 rushes. Also taking the ball for the Wolfpack were Gavin Brown, with 22 yards on six rushes; Stewart, 19 yards on five rushes; Dixon, 19 yards on 10 rushes; and Kale Delcambre, 11 yards on three rushes.
Stewart added 92 yards receiving on seven catches. David Anderson added 8 yards on two catches.
Having played two 3A teams and come away victorious, the Wolfpack turns its attention to 4A Ellender High School from Houma this week.
“We’re trying to get ready for playoff teams by playing quality opponents now,” Antoine said. “We’re not going to let up, and we’re going to clean up things we need to clean up and get ready for Ellender.”