Missed opportunities costly for Rayne
CHRIS QUEBEDEAUX ~ LSN SPORTS EDITOR
PRAIRIE BASSE - Another week, another case of missed opportunities for the Rayne Wolves.
This time, the opponent was Beau Chene.
The Wolves, plagued by inconsistency the first two weeks of the 2009 season, had three potential first-half scoring drives stall inside the Beau Chene 30-yard line Thursday and then managed to cross midfield just once in the second half in a 7-0 loss to the Gators.
“We had opportunities,” said RHS coach Curt Ware, whose team fell to 0-3 with the loss. “We moved the ball up and down the field, but you have to score when you have the chance. We just don’t have a lot of big-play capability so we have to control the football and score when we get the chances.”
With neither team finding the end zone in the first half, the game came down to a break here and there and, unfortunately for the Wolves, the Gators caught a huge break late in the third quarter.
Starting from their own 7-yard line, the Wolves pounded the ball between the tackles on runs by Dylan Ware and Brody Bourque before being forced to punt from the 23.
A Beau Chene defender broke through Tyler Venable’s protection wall and blocked the punt and the Gators covered the ball at the 18-yard line.
On the next play, Rayne looked to have Beau Chene quarterback Paul Richard sacked for a loss. But Richard somehow eluded would-be tacklers and pitched the ball to David Francis for an 18-yard touchdown run.
“If we don’t get a blocked punt, we’re probably in overtime right now,” said Ware.
Rayne’s ensuing drive started with a 6-yard run by Bourque to the Wolve’s 42-yard line before a tipped pass was intercepted. On the interception return, Bourque stripped the ball away from the Gators and raced all the way to the end zone.
As luck would have it, the touchdown was called back because the play was whistled dead before the take away.
“They missed a call right there and they knew it but they wouldn’t change it,” said Ware of the early whistle. “We can complain about the officiating all we want, but we had our chances to score where those calls wouldn’t have even mattered.”
Rayne had one last opportunity to tie the game, starting at their own 42-yard line with just over six minutes remaining in the contest.
A 12-yard pass from Venable to Myles Pryor gave the Wolves a first down at the BC 46 before runs by Ware and Pryor moved the chains again.
An incomplete pass coupled with an unsportsman-like conduct penalty pushed the Wolves back to their end of the field before two short runs forced Rayne to punt.
“We get one bad play and then a penalty and it’s hard for us to overcome that because we just don’t have any backs that have a lot of speed,” said Ware.
Beau Chene sealed the victory with a 55-yard drive, getting down to the RHS 25 before taking a knee to run the clock out.
“We played real hard and this is a tough, tough loss for us,” said Ware. “We had our chances to win and sometimes, when you lose a couple on the road, sometimes you find a way to lose instead of finding a way to win.
“We’ve got to try and bounce back. That’s the biggest thing for next week.”
Statistically, both teams logged 11 first downs while Rayne actually outgained Beau Chene on the ground, 153 to 115.
Bourque led all rushers with 74 yards on 17 carries while Ware racked up 64 yards on 14 totes.
Aaron Guidry led the Gators with nine carries for 36 yards while Francis had nine carries for 32 yards.
The Gators had the advantage through the air, passing for 69 yards while the Wolves threw for 11.
Venable completed just one pass for 11 yards to Pryor.
Richard connected on five of his 13 pass attempts for 69 yards. Delvin Davis hauled in three passes for 58 yards while Devon Richard had one reception for 11. Brandon Oswald had one catch for no yards.
The Wolves will be in action again Friday when they play host to the Church Point Bears at 7 o’clock.