Eunice lands three on Class AAAA All-State squad
BATON ROUGE – Belle Chasse quarterback Blake Matherne had the kind of season many players dream about.
First, Matherne led his team to a road win over top-ranked Bastrop, the defending state champion, in the semifinals. The following week, he won the MVP award in leading the Cardinals to a 28-7 victory over Shaw in the Class 4A state title game.
Now Matherne can add another honor, after being selected as the Class 4A Offensive Most Valuable Player on the Class 4A All-State team of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Belle Chasse coach Bob Becnel was picked as the Coach of the Year honors on the team selected by a panel of sportswriters from across the state. Defensive back Chad Boyd of 4A runner-up Archbishop Shaw was selected as the Defensive MVP.
Entering the state championship game, Matherne had accounted for 3,683 yards and 47 touchdowns, combining his totals rushing and passing. Thanks to a stellar showing in the finals, he passed the 4,000-yard barrier and finished with 50 touchdowns.
Becnel’s Cardinals suffered just one loss during the season, a 28-27 decision to Shaw, which Belle Chasse avenged with its victory in the state title game.
Boyd was one of the catalysts for Shaw’s turnaround after an 0-4 start. Boyd had 126 tackles, five interceptions and seven passes broken up entering the state championship game and was a previous all-state selection for the three-time finalists.
Matherne was joined on the team by teammates James Wright and Jeremy Vujnovich.
Wright, a junior wide receiver, reeled in 35 passes for 559 yards and 10 touchdowns in eight regular season games, while Vujnovich was the top offensive lineman for a team that averaged nearly 450 yards on offense.
Shaw landed one other player on the first-team defense, linebacker Darius Robinson, who averaged over 10 tackles per game.
The offensive backfield also included running backs Michael Ford of Leesville, Eunice’s Tyler Collins and Pearl River’s James Gillum.
Ford, an LSU commitment, rushed for 2,953 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Wampus Cats, breaking the 200-yard barrier in nine of 12 games, including a 443-yard effort against Tioga in Week 10.
Collins led Eunice’s Wing-T attack, rushing for 1,472 yards and 14 touchdowns on 232 carries, while Gillum had 1,224 yards and 17 TDs on 170 carries for PRHS.
Bastrop senior Stanley Moore (52 catches, 952 yards, 11 TDs) and Salmen’s Isiah Tate (37-581, 9 TDs) were the other receivers.
Northside senior Casey Alfred, Neville senior Justin Ellis, Zachary senior Dustin Wray and Sam Houston senior Zach Morgan complete the offensive line. Neville junior Matthew Squyers was named the all-state place kicker, while Bastrop quarterback Rueben Randle, the nation’s top-ranked recruit, was the first-team athlete after passing for 2,461 yards and rushing for 683 yards.
Randle and Moore saw three of their teammates named first-team on the defensive side of the ball. Senior defensive linemen DeQuinta Jones, a Michigan commitment, and Josh Downs, an LSU commitment, were named to the squad, along with senior defensive back Radarious Winston.
Karr’s Dwayne Mitchell and Breaux Bridge’s Churphy Steward joined Jones and Downs on the all-state defensive line. Northside senior Jacarde Carter, Neville senior Foster Jones and Eunice senior Kendall Sam were the other linebackers. Leesville senior Devin Moran and Eunice senior Troy Godfrey, while the return specialist was Javone Lawson of Helen Cox and the punter was LSU baseball signee Zack Von Rosenberg of Zachary.