Notre Dame crushes Rayne
BY LANCE REED
LSN STAFF WRITER
RAYNE – It may not be Christmas yet, but the Notre Dame defensive unit was sure in the mood for giving Friday night. They gave their offense plenty of chances to score in the first half of their contest against Rayne.
The NDHS offensive group took advantage and put up a whopping 49 points before the first half of the contest was over, and held the Wolves to zero points and minimal yards on offense going into half time.
“We made some good plays defensively,” said Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook. “We got some good punt returns, fumbles and interceptions that really help to set the offense up. Because of that, the game got away from them (Rayne) in a hurry.”
The Pioneers found the end zone quickly thanks to a 43-yard punt return from Luke Bourgeous. The run set the NDHS offense up at the Rayne seven-yard line. From there, senior tailback Jordan Bertrand went to work. He took the handoff from junior quarterback Ryan Leonards and found the end zone with 10:43 left on the clock. Stephen Benoit’s extra point kick made it 7-0.
Less than 15 seconds later, the Pios were in the end zone again. Hunter Stover blasted a touchback, putting the Wolves on their own 20-yard line to start their second possession. On the very first play, NDHS senior defensive tackle Adam Meche picked off a screen pass and ran it back for a touchdown. Benoit’s kick made it 14-0 with 10:35 left in the opening period.
The Wolves put together a decent drive and moved the ball to mid-field before they were forced to punt. NDHS senior linebacker Seth Fruge bolted across the line and blocked the punt, giving the offense the ball at the RHS 20-yard line. Two plays later, Leonards made a 10-yard run for another NDHS score. Benoit’s kick was good, making it a 21-0 contest with 5:50 left in the first quarter.
Stover’s fourth touchback of the night put the Wolves at their own 20-yard line again. On the first play, Meche recovered a fumble giving the ball back to the Pioneers. Two plays later, junior fullback Marshall Watson bowled over Rayne defenders for the fourth score of the period. The Benoit kick was good, tilting the score board to 28-0 with 4:14 left in the opening stanza.
Another gift from the defense came in the form of a Nick Ware interception. The senior cornerback ran the ball back and put his team on the Rayne 19-yard line. A personal foul helped to move the Pios to the RHS five-yard line. Bertrand got the rock and moved into the end zone with less than three minutes left to go in the quarter. The NDHS boys went up 35-0 after another Benoit kick.
Rayne’s next possession ended on a sack from Fruge. The punt was short, giving the Pioneers the ball on the RHS 24-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Jack Thomas Hundley bounced off a few defenders and found his way into six-point land. Benoit’s kick split the uprights, making it a 42-0 contest with most of the second quarter left to play.
The NDHS defense’s final gift came in the way of a Jordan Comeaux interception. The senior cornerback picked off a Tyler Venable passed and moved it to the RHS 12-yard line. Seconds later, sophomore tailback Stu Cook found all 12 yards and the seventh NDHS touchdown. The Pioneers went into the locker ahead 49-0 after the Benoit kick.
After a dominating first half, the NDHS skipper put all of his younger players in the contest. The second and third string players rotated in and out of the game. The Wolves scored midway through the final frame. Tyler Venable scored on a one-yard run that capped an 11-play, 55-yard drive. Dakota Broussard’s kick made it a 49-7 contest.
Besides the dominating performance by the NDHS defense, another highlight was Stover’s kicking. The junior blasted eight touchbacks on the night. He never gave the Wolves chance to start at better field position than their own 20-yard line. He continues to prove to be a vital weapon for the Pioneers.
“Stoves a very nice weapon to have,” said Cook. “It makes them start at their own 20-yard line over and over. That puts a lot of pressure on the other team.”
The Pioneers’ offense accumulated just 181 yards of total offense and did not throw the ball all night. Rayne collected 128 yards of total offense with 98 of those yards coming in the second half.
With the win, the Pios improve to 7-0 on the year and 2-0 in district. Next week’s contest against Crowley (4-3, 2-0) will be huge for District 5-3A. The Gents pounded Church Point 40-0 Friday night. That contest will take place at Rayne High School as it will be a home game for the Pioneers.
Rayne falls to 3-5 on the year and 0-3 in district. Rayne goes to Northwest to meet the Raiders who played Loureauville.