While the Westgate Tigers lost the season opener last Friday to Lafayette Christian Academy, there was a silver lining.
The Tigers played well on defense in the 7-0 defeat against a team that averaged more than 50 points per game in 2018.
That wasn’t a surprise to WHS head coach Ryan Antoine.
“I never really expected it to be a high-scoring game,” he said. “Everybody tried to hype it as such, but I knew it wasn’t going to be that type of game.”
Although Antoine liked the effort, he wants his defense to do more.
“Yes, I’m happy for our defense but I also know there’s a lot of things we left on the field,” he said. “The biggest thing is we have to get the ball. We have to cause turnovers and fly to the ball.”
Linebacker Garrick Arceneaux led the charge as the Tigers limited LCA senior running back Logan Gabriel to 92 yards on 20 carries and kept the Northwestern State commit out of the end zone.
“Arceneaux is a three-year starter who won a state championship at Catholic High before he got here,” the WHS coach said.
“He has a lot of game experience, brings a lot of leadership to the table, and has aspirations of playing at the next level, so he’s playing for a lot. And he loves the game.”
The Tigers didn’t get on the scoreboard, but they had ample opportunities to do so.
“On three drives into their territory, we missed a field goal, went for it on fourth down (and didn’t convert), and threw an interception,” Antoine said.
“That was on our first three drives of the game, so we had opportunities. We also had the ball five times in the fourth quarter with a chance to make a play. It’s just being able to go out there and execute.”
Westgate’s two quarterbacks - Brennan Landry and JaQuallen Allen - combined to complete 7-of-20 passes for 55 yards with two interceptions.
“Offensively I was disappointed in how we did, but after watching film it was a lot of execution issues,” Antoine said. “It’s some very minimal issues that if we go out there and correct them this week, we’ll have a chance to fix it.
“Our quarterbacks did get rattled a bit and they took some big hits. It was a physical game. They need to improve on reads, but it’s something we expected. Now, if we’re making those same mistakes in Week 5, we’ll have to re-evaluate.”
LCA, which won its 21st straight game, focused heavily on preventing the Tigers from throwing deep.
“They dropped seven into coverage, umbrella coverage with double- and triple-teams that forced us to run the ball,” Antoine said.
Sophomore running back Steven Antoine gained 65 yards on 17 rushes for the Tigers, who travel to Houma to face Vandebilt Catholic, which lost 14-6 to E.D. White.
“They’re a spread team that does a lot of run/pass option stuff, and they do it well,” Antoine said of the Terriers. “They’re a solid team that can put you in a bind if you don’t play well.
“They’re a big team in terms of size. They played E.D. White in a low-scoring, physical game that was similar to ours. It’s an away game in a tough environment, so we’re going to have to go out there and play hard.”
Vandebilt Catholic is a Class 4A school that went 4-7 last year and lost to De La Salle in the first round of the Division II playoffs.
The Terriers outgained E.D. White 192 yards to 13 in the first half, but four drives into enemy territory yielded zero points.