Notre Dame's Molbert, Stover shine in Nike Bayou Bowl

CROWLEY – For former Notre Dame football standouts and UL-Lafayette signees Jacob Molbert and Hunter Stover, last Saturday’s Nike Bayou Bowl at Stallworth Stadium in Baytown, Texas, was their last chance to compete at the high school level.

The duo, a dominating defensive force that helped lead the Pios to a state runnerup finish in 2008 and a state title in 2009, made the best of that opportunity.

Molbert, a 6-foot-2, 215 lb. defensive end, logged four tackles for losses totaling 19 yards and earned the Defensive Player of the Game award.

Stover, a 6-foot-0, 205 lb. linebacker, also had a stellar game, logging four tackles as well as returning a blocked punt 28 yards for a touchdown.

“This was a great experience for us,” said Molbert. “You kind of got to compare yourself to everybody else who is going to big colleges and you kind of get to see where you are compared to everybody else.

“I enjoyed it and had a real good time with it.”

The Texas backfield didn’t have such a great time with Molbert on the prowl. Notre Dame’s 2008 Outstanding Player award recipient in the AAA title game was constantly in the Texas backfield, causing numerous quarterback hurries all night long.

“I just never stopped running,” said Molbert. “You just keep going and going until the game is over and that’s what I did.

“They (Texas) were pretty good; I just somehow found a way to get around them, that’s all.”

Stover did likewise.

“Really, I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Stover of the punt return. “You can’t rush a punt unless it’s muffed and he bobbled the snap.

“Jacob and another guy went after it and I really thought the punter was just going to run. But he decided to punt it and it came right to me. All the punt team had gone downfield and it was just us. It was fun though.”

Stover was also honored at a banquet prior to the game for being named the Louisiana squad’s Player of the Week during the practice period leading up to the contest.

That award was voted on by the team coaches.

“This was a really fun experience,” said Stover. “Just to put the pads on and hit somebody after four months was great. It’s always a good feeling when you hit somebody and it’s legal.”

The game will be re-aired Saturday at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest.

Jacob is the son of Paul and Michelle Molbert of Rayne while Hunter is the son of Smokey and Connie Stover of Abbeville.

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