At halftime of Friday’s Catholic High home opener against Vermilion Catholic, the Panther trailed 27-26 in a game more resembled something from the Arena Football League with the way the offenses were moving up-and-down the field and putting the ball in the end zone.
To wit, Vermilion Catholic scored on a kickoff return, a touchdown run and two touchdown passes.
Catholic High responded with two touchdown runs from Trey Amos, including a 57-yard run for a score; a touchdown run from Trey Henry and two touchdown passes from Amos, including one to Avery Guidry that the senior receiver used a nice outside move on the defender and ran 35 yards for the score.
The difference in the score was the fact that CHS kicker John Guidry missed two point after touchdowns and VC kicker Rob Allums missed one.
Fans were settling in for what promised to be more scoring in the second half and a game where the final score appeared to be somewhere in the 50’s for both teams.
But in the second half, Catholic High’s offense went three-and-out on its first two possessions while VC scored both times it had the ball to start the second half.
That put the Panthers down 40-26 and even though Henry scored in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 40-32, Catholic High couldn’t get any closer and the Panthers went dropped a 43-32 game to the Eagles to fall to 0-1 on the season with battles against Class 4A Breaux Bridge next week and Class 5A Barbe in two weeks.
Vermilion Catholic coach Kevin Fouquier, whose team is one of the favorites to compete for the Division IV state championship this season, was ecstatic about the win.
“This was a huge win for us and the program,” Fouquier said. “They are a great football team. They’ve been to the Dome three of the last four or five years with a state championship.
“That’s where we want to be.”
Behind quarterback Ethan Lege, the Eagles kept throwing the ball against the CHS defense.
Lege finished with 301 yards and two touchdowns on 21-of-27 passing. Combined with 176 rushing yards, Vermilion Catholic had Catholic High on its defensive heels all night.
The damage was especially great considering that several times in the game, Catholic High had VC in third-and-more than 10 yards to go situations and the Eagles converted them all.
And that was just one of the several mistakes the Panthers made in the game that allowed the Eagles to come away with the win.
“They were a veteran, seasoned team and played like it,” CHS coach Brent Indest said. “We didn’t rise up to the moment.
“Muffed punt, extra point and field goal mishaps and a kick return for TD killed us.”
The muffed punt was particularly hurtful because it was one of the few times that Catholic High stopped VC’s offense and allowed the Eagles a second chance that they converted into a touchdown that tied the game at 14-14 in the first quarter.
The missed field goal came right before halftime that could have given CHS a 29-27 lead with possession of the ball coming out of the break.
In the end there were just too many missed opportunities that made Catholic High’s efforts to rally for a win that much harder.
Amos finished the night with 130 yards and a touchdown passing and 179 yards and two touchdowns rushing.
Henry added 79 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers and also added six catches for 47 yards in the losing effort.