Church Point pitches shutout at Beau Chene
ARNAUDVILLE – With Church Point’s offense misfiring early in the game, it was up to the Bears’ defense to save the day Thursday.
And it did.
After watching the offense squander two golden scoring opportunities in the first quarter, the Church Point defense held Beau Chene to just 41 total yards in the first half and 77 overall, enabling the Bears’ offense to get untracked and pull out a 14-0 victory over the homestanding Gators.
“As long as our defense plays like they did tonight, we’re going to have a chance in every football game this year,” said Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux following the victory.
“If they continue to play like that, we’re not going to have to do a whole bunch on offense. We’re just going to have to manage the game, play ball control and take advantage of our opportunities.”
The Bears’ offense struggled early against the Gators, failing to convert on two fumbles in the first quarter.
Beau Chene fumbled on the first offensive play of the game, giving the Bears a golden opportunity at the Gators’ 31-yard line. They promptly drove down inside the red zone, but penalties and an incompletion on fourth down ended the scoring threat.
Then, almost as soon as Beau Chene fans could say the words ‘‘oh, no!’’ the Gators fumbled again on the next play, setting the Bears up at the BC 37.
But once again the Bears failed to capitalize. Two penalties negated big runs and they eventually turned the ball over on downs at the 18.
“We didn’t take advantage of our opportunities tonight,” said Arceneaux. “We had a chance to jump out on them early and we missed those two opportunities.
“I’ve coached high school football long enough to know that if you allow people to stay in the game, things are going to happen. Any time we get opportunities, any time we get the ball in the red zone, we’ve got to come away with points. When those guys (defense) give the offense opportunities, we’ve got to cash in on them.”
Church Point once again had to rely on its defense late in the first quarter when they Bears were forced to punt for deep inside their own territory.
A shanked punt that went just eight yards gave the Gators the ball at the Bears’ 31-yard line.
Beau Chene was able to get to the 9 yard line on a reverse, but the drive stalled and the Gators failed to convert on a field goal attempt.
Church Point finally got on the scoreboard late in the half when Gallen Williams capped an eight-play, 68-yard drive with a 5-yard touchdown scamper.
“The first two opportunities that we missed, we got ourselves behind the sticks with penalties,” said Arceneaux. “That (scoring) drive, we didn’t. We were penalty free and we were able to grind it out and move the chains.”
Running back Jacob Boone accounted for 50 of the drive’s 68 yards. He had three carries, including a 27-yard burst, and 38 total yards and had one reception for 12 yards during the series. He also led the Bears on the night, racking up 171 yards on 21 carries.
“I can’t say enough about Jacob Boone,” said Arceneaux. “Devin Landry kind of cramped up and Jacob jumped over and played the other side. He has a year of experience; he knows where the cuts are; he knows when to put his foot in the ground and he knows when to get his pads down. And it showed tonight.
“I just can’t say enough about him. That’s why he’s a team captain right there.”
As explosive as Boone was, it was the defense once again that set up the final touchdown of the night.
Church Point’s Deonta Lazaro intercepted a pass and ran it back 61 yards to the Beau Chene 14. Four plays later, Williams scored from two yards out.
Both teams traded possessions the rest of the game before Church Point ran out the final six minutes with a nine-play drive that ended at the BC 49.
Church Point dominated the time of possession on the night and racked up 307 total yards of offense.
On the ground, Boone was followed by Williams with 64 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries and Devin Landry with 61 yards on 10 carries. James Bellard had four carries for 25 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Jake Morvant completed three passes for 34 yards. Boone had one reception for 12 yards and Brett Thibodeaux had one catch for 21 yards.
Beau Chene’s Brett Miller picked up 27 yards on three carries while Jamal Chevis had eight rushes for 11 yards. Quarterback Michael James completed two passes for 22 yards but threw two interceptions.
The Gators were limited to just four first downs on the night.
“That’s three weeks in a row that our defense hasn’t allowed a score,” said Arceneaux. “So, hopefully, they build a little momentum and a little pride behind that and let’s see where that can carry us.”
The one thing that disappointed Arceneaux, aside from the missed opportunities, was the fact that the Bears were flagged 13 times for 97 yards.
“I can’t complain about being 1-0,” said Arceneaux. “We made some mistakes and had way too many penalties, but win is a win. I’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day.
“Beau Chene has a good football team. I just felt like tonight, we were the better team.”