Church Point runs past Erath
By Chris Quebedeaux
RAYNE – Church Point’s return of running backs Von Duplechain, Joseph Carrier and Bruce Citizen could spell trouble for opponents this year.
It definitely did for the Erath Bobcats Thursday in the opening game of the Acadia/Vermilion Jamboree at Rayne High School.
The trio, who combined for nearly 2,200 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2008, accounted for 174 yards and two scores in helping lead the Bears to a 20-6 victory over the Bobcats.
“Our offensive line is starting to come around, but it makes it easy when you have three good backs that can make people miss,” said Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux following the contest. “If we (offensive line) mess up a little bit, we still have a chance. There’s a couple times where we blew assignments, but our backs made a guy miss and picked up about eight to 10 yards. That’s what good backs will do for you.”
Church Point’s ground attack was pivotal in keeping Erath’s offense off the field for most of the night. The Bears logged 13 first downs during the contest and scored on all three of their possessions that totaled just over 21 minutes.
The Bears opened the game with 14-play, 74-yard drive that was capped by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Wimberly to Citizen on fourth down.
Erath ran just two plays on its ensuing possession with Tyler Verret fumbling on the second to give the Bears the ball back at the EHS 44-yard line. Zack Meche recovered the fumble for Church Point.
Duplechain, who finished the night with 12 carries for 90 yards, carried five times during the seven play drive before scoring on a 2-yard run.
Erath answered back, driving 76 yards in just over three minutes for the Bobcats lone score of the night.
Dason Darby had a 31-yard run and Cole Bourque accounted for a 23-yard gain during the series before quarterback Jude Cessac hit pay dirt from six yards out to end the first half.
Erath looked as if it would tie the game up on its first possession of the second half, driving down to the CPHS 1-yard line before Chris Roberts and Kaleb Rollins stopped Cessac just short of the goal line on fourth down.
“We really bowed our necks on that goal line stand,” said Arceneaux. “We made the play inside the one on fourth down and that’s a big step for us defensively. For a young squad to bow their necks like that and hold them out...that was impressive.”
From there, the Bears mounted an 18-play, 99-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Wimberly with just over a minute remaining in the contest.
“We aren’t going to have any drives longer than that one this year,” said a laughing Arceneaux. “But that’s what the Wing-T is. It’s ball control; it’s moving the chains and forcing people to stop you. We made a couple throws when we had to make them. The better we get at running the ball, the more it’s going to open our passing game.”
Wimberly completed two of his five pass attempts for 31 yards and a touchdown while Cessac had one completion for eight yards.
Duplechain’s 90 yards led all rushers while Citizen rolled up 45 yards on eight carries and Citizen had 39 on nine carries.
Verret led Erath with eight carries for 46 yards while Darby had two totes for 37 yards.
Church Point hosts Beau Chene Friday at 7 o’clock in the season opener while Erath hosts Berwick.