Notre Dame defense earns top billing
CROWLEY – Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook knew his defense would have to hold their own in order for the Pios to have a chance against Class 4A Breaux Bridge on the Tigers’ home field.
After all, the Pios’ offensive unit was decimated by injuries and Cook knew that points may be hard to come by.
Not to worry.
The Pios, led by safety Gavin Bourgeois and linebacker Hunter Stelly limited the Tigers to just 149 yards of total offense, nine first downs and no points in a 3-0 victory that vaulted Notre Dame to a perfect 2-0 on the season.
“We were asking a lot out of kids on the offensive side to do things that they didn’t have much experience in doing so we knew it would take a big backing from the defense to give us a chance,” said Cook, whose team was playing without starting running back John Michael Besse as well as his backup Lance Bertrand. The Pios also had two offensive linemen out in Reese Besse and Patrick Hundley.
The final line for the ND defense read like this: Breaux Bridge rushing, 52 yards; Breaux Bridge passing, 97 yards.
“They (defense) played as well as you can play,” said Cook. “To hold those athletes scoreless... My goodness; they got to the 20 (yard line) one time right before the end of the half and they didn’t even threaten in the second half.”
Bourgeois played a key role for the unit by recording a pair of interceptions, one which helped set up the game-winning field goal with just over two minutes left in the game. The senior defensive back picked off a pass near the end zone and returned it 35 yards to set up the drive. He also had a pass breakup and one tackle.
“Gavin had two interceptions and he made some huge plays for us,” said Cook.
Stelly, meanwhile, racked up six solo tackles, including one for a loss, while Nate Link and Connor Kirsch each had six tackles and two sacks each.
“Nate really pressured the quarterback a lot and I thought he had a huge game up front,” said Cook. “Kirsch also played really well. With those two guys up front, they really controlled it.”
Other standout performances last week were turned in by Crowley High’s Ty’Von Griffin and Rayne’s Trent Duhon.
Griffin continued his dominance from last week and posted 117 yards and two touchdowns Friday in the Gents’ 22-21 road victory over Westlake.
Duhon ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries to help lead Rayne to an impressive 28-10 road victory over North Vermilion. Byron Mouton also had a highlight reel moment for the Wolves when he returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown.
Another standout was James Bellard, who rushed 12 times for 49 yards in Church Point’s heartbreaking 13-10 loss to Kaplan. The Pirates scored the game-winning touchdown with 29 seconds remaining in that one.
Michael Thevis was one of the lone bright spots for Iota again last week in the Bulldogs’ 34-0 loss to St. Edmund. The senior tailback rushed for a team-high 63 yards on 21 carries on the night.