LOREAUVILLE — The Loreauville Tigers wanted to test West St. Mary’s pass defense early in the District 6-2A opener for both teams Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers had the athletes to throw and catch the ball, and did so to the tune of 306 passing yards, helping LHS fans celebrate homecoming with a 47-14 win that kept Loreauville perfect through six weeks of the season. Quarterback Raymond Bonnette was nearly flawless on the night, completing 12 of 13 pass attempts, with his only non-completion an interception on a ball that Kylon Brown tipped, then dove for and grabbed the ball before it hit the ground.
Outside of that play, Bonnette was spectacular, throwing five touchdown with four of those covering 40 or more yards.
“We knew they played man coverage, and anytime someone plays us man we feel we need to get the ball to our wide receivers,” said LHS coach Trent Delahoussaye. “We did that. I thought our pass protection didn’t hold up tonight the way I thought it would. I wish we’d have done a little bit better pass blocking. Raymond’s scrambling ability helped us tonight.”
Several times Bonnette used his legs to evade pass rushers and got the ball off either to a relief valve short or threw it deep for a completion. Delahoussaye said Bonnette held onto the ball a couple of times when he shouldn’t have, but knew he’d made a mistake himself. That, and the offensive line play, will be worked on starting Monday, the coach said.
Nitpicking aside, it was Loreauville’s night from early on with Bonnette throwing two TD passes in the first quarter, both to younger brother Rhashid Bonnette, for 55 and 5 yards.
After another TD pass early in the second quarter, a 40-yarder to senior tight end Charles Francois, West St. Mary got on the scoreboard with a five-play scoring drive keyed by Glen Marsh’s 44-yard run. Marsh carried in from a yard out to make it a 21-7 game with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
But the Tigers answered with rushing TDs by Spencer Mitchell and Jermaine Antoine to push the lead to 34-7 at halftime, and WSM could get no closer. Antoine finished the night with 112 yards on nine carries and had three catches for 24 additional yards.
WSM coach Marquis Newsome said his team just doesn’t have enough depth right now after an uncertain spring with a sudden coaching change after Ryan Antoine left for Westgate in May.
The Wolfpack was without starting quarterback Trevell Dixon, who is out with an injury, but did get starting tailback Glen Marsh back, an All-District selection last season.
“We’ve got eight guys starting both ways, and those guys are sophomores and juniors, and you see we’ve got our quarterback on crutches,” said Newsome. “So we’re real young, and we’re building. We’ve got a lot of guys who didn’t play last year because we had six studs (who graduated in May) in the game. We’re young and low on depth.”
Raymond Bonnette continued his big game in the third quarter with a 74-yard tuchdown to Francois and another 55-yarder to Rhashid Bonnette. The Tigers’ junior quarterback said it was his best career passing game, and he credited it to the work done during the week as well as his blockers and receivers.
“This week at practice we had the best practice,” he said. “The line came out and blocked good like always, and I threw good.”
Francois and Rhashid Bonnette, a sophomore, both had big nights. Francois caught four passes for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Bonnette caught three passes for 115 yards, all TDs.
“I love it,” said Raymond Bonnette of having good receivers to throw to. “I just love it. Playmakers. All of our receivers are playmakers.”
Delahoussaye said his defense needs to do some more work too after giving up 170 yards on the ground and 123 in the air to the Wolfpack.
Marsh, who was out for the first five weeks with an injury, sparked the running game, along with backup QB Ta’Mon Lockett.
Marsh ran for 79 yards and a TD on 14 carries and Lockett had 87 yards and a TD on 16 carries, with the Wolfpack finishing the night with 170 yards on the ground.
Lockett also completed 11 of 19 pass attempts, with one picked off by Rhashid Bonnette.
Tempers boiled over early for the two teams with the Wolfpack backed up in the shadow of their own goal line. On one running play for a loss, Marsh was tossed to the ground in the end zone after the whistle, which sparked a fight in the end zone that was largely limited to pushing and shoving. Coaches for both teams got the squads under control without too many players rushing from the sidelines to join the fray, and after a good talking to by the officials tempers were held in check for most of the game.
The only other real problem for the two teams was penalties. Each side was socked with a dozen flags, West St. Mary’s covering 70 yards and Loreauville’s 90.
“I’m real proud of my guys because they didn’t back down and they came ready to work and ready to fight,” said Newsome. “We have a core of 25, it’s just with the uncertainty of the offseason
Bonnette said the Tigers (6-0 oveall, 1-0 district) feel very good about being unbeaten so far.“Very, very, very, very, very good,” he said.
“They did a hell of a job on that side,” said Newsome. “Hats off to Coach Delahoussaye and his staff. No. 7 (Jermaine Antoine), he’s a good athlete and No. 9’s a good athlete (John Reed). They’ve got a bunch of good athletes. They did a great job.”
Loreauville travels to Delcambre (2-4, 1-0) on Friday, while WSM (0-6, 0-1) plays host to Comeaux on Thursday in a non-district outing.