BERWICK — Abbeville broke open a foul-filled game in the second half, knocking off Berwick, 28-9, Friday at Geisler Stadium.
Berwick celebrated homecoming after suffering a tragedy a day earlier when former homecoming king and football player Miles Liner as well as former queen and cheerleading captain Taylor Adams were involved in a motor vehicle accident. Berwick had Liner’s jersey No. 6 on display Friday night.
Liner passed away Saturday.
Abbeville (2-7, 2-4 District 9-3A) opened the game with a 12-play, 75-yard all-run drive that quarterback Ross Duhon capped on a 13-yard run with 6:33 remaining in the opening quarter. Duhon added the kick for a 7-0 lead.
The Panthers were getting a spark from quarterback Bobby Boudreaux on the ground early, but with 3:57 remaining until the half, Boudreaux fumbled and dove into a pile trying to make the recovery. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and kicked out of the game for allegedly throwing a punch.
“It was out of control tonight,” Berwick head coach Craig Brodie, Sr. said. “Bobby said the kid bit him, and he pushed him away. I didn’t see a punch, and it happened right in front of us.”
The teams were flagged for a combined 12 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties throughout the game.
The Wildcats took a 7-0 lead into the half.
Berwick’s offense struggled after Boudreaux left the game, and Abbeville took advantage of Jeremy Boudreaux’s interception early in the third quarter.
Abbeville, aided by an unsportsmanlike conduct call, marched into Panther territory, and Duhon scored again, this time on a 6-yard run with 7:09 to play. He carried 23 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns. He also connected on three of four passes for 97 yards.
“They hit a long pass on us and a couple quick runs and got up on us,” Brodie said.
Berwick got on the scoreboard when Luis Hernandez willed himself into the end zone, carrying four times for 34 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown with 2:51 to play in the third period. Hernandez was the team’s leading rusher with eight carries for 45 yards and a score.
Abbeville added a touchdown in the fourth quarter, while Berwick got a safety late in the game.
Tempers flared as the teams went to shake hands after the game.
“We went over to our sidelines immediately after taking a knee and told our guys to put on their helmets, shake hands and not say a word,” Abbeville head coach Larry Breaux said. “And they did just that. The Berwick players yelled down the line at our players, calling them names. Toward the end, somebody threw a punch, and we had to get in there and separate everyone pretty quickly.”
Brodie had issues with the tone of the game as well.
“They threw several punches that they (referees) called pushes,” Brodie said. “I don’t know how they decide what is a push and what is a punch. They could have gotten control of the game early, and they didn’t.”
Berwick (1-7, 0-5) will host Franklin Friday to wrap up the season.
Franklin (4-5, 1-4) was a 14-0 loser at Patterson this past Friday.
VermilionToday contributed to this story.