Rayne defeats Church Point in state playoffs

By: Lisa Soileaux
CHURCH POINT - Remembering Church Point’s 27-12 district win over Rayne High just three weeks ago, the Bears entered Friday’s bi-district contest of the 2011 state football playffs with something to defend and the Wolves with something to prove…and the proving was in the Rayne High defense as they collected a 22-14 win and their first playoff win since the days of Josh Reed as noted by Rayne High head coach Curt Ware

“Our defense came through big time tonight,” stated Ware following Friday’s bi-district win over the Bears. “I’m so proud of these guys as they stepped it up on all levels tonight.”

The Rayne High defense shut down Church Point, limiting the Bears to only 133 total offensive yards on the night.

The tone of the game began on the very first drive of the game as the Bears were unable to convert a fourth down on Rayne’s 36-yard line as Trent Duhon made a key tackle near the line of scrimmage, giving the Wolves their first opportunity to score of the ballgame.

Behind a Jalen Williams 44-yard run, the Wolves were able to penetrate the red zone to the 12-yard line. After three tries and a stingy Church Point defense, Rayne settled with a field goal by Ty dela Houssaye for a 3-0 Rayne win at the 5:52 mark of the first quarter.

Church Point tried yet again on their next drive to get on the scoreboard behind a nice carry by Gallen Williams to Rayne’s 28-yard line. But, Wolves RJ Buchanan and Andrew Broussard joined forces as they caused a fumble by Bears’ quarterback Jake Morvant, who recovered the football with a loss of two yards. With a stop by Billy Marcantel and quarterback pressure placed by Jalen Boutte on a pass attempt, Rayne assumed field position at their own 26-yard line, leaving the Bears’ scoreboard empty once again.

Clerance Leger took charge of Rayne’s next drive and zig-zagged his way across mid-field to Church Point’s 34-yard line as his offensive line opened a seam for their quarterback. Dexter Charles halted an attempted Rayne reverse and Tedrick Citizen made a crucial mid-field tackle before the Wolves were able to move the ball downfield. Leger took to the air and found Dannie Harmon all alone for a 13-yard touchdown pass. Dela Houssaye split the uprights for an extra point and a 10-0 Rayne lead with eight minutes remaining in the first half of play, plenty of time for the Bears to get on the scoreboard, or so they thought.

Church Point’s next drive only produced 30 yards with carries by Williams and Devin Landry before Rayne defenders Christian Hodges and Patrick Charles halted the Bears just past midfield, forcing a punt and another Rayne High drive.

A shanked punt placed the Wolves on the left hash mark at their own 33-yard line with only four minutes remaining in the first half of play. On the very first play of the drive, Leger pitched the pigskin to Buchanan who skimmed down the homestand sideline to the 40-yard marker. Leger then found Quinn Guidry on the end of a 20-yard pass placing the Wolves at the 20. Eying the end zone, Leger found the eight-yard line on a quarterback keeper before the Rayne offense was hit with not one, but two delay of game penalties.

With only seconds remaining in the half on fourth and goal, the Wolves answered with a near-touchdown pass to Harmon, only to be slapped away by Church Point defender Chance Roy. This forced the Wolves to attempt a field goal which was blocked by Roy, allowing the Bears gaining possession on their own 15 marker.

Church Point came out throwing with Morvant’s pass broken up by Rayne’s Buchanan near the 40-yard line. After Williams was halted near the line of scrimmage by Rayne High’s Patrick Charles, Ware and his staff decide on a much-needed time out with only seconds remaining in the first half of play. Seemed the break in play helped the Wolves who forced a Church Point fumble and the end of the second quarter for a 10-0 Rayne lead as halftime activities were observed.

On the kickoff, the Wolves continued with their game plan as Jalen Williams made a 12-yard return to the 33-yard line before being stopped by Church Point defender Trevor Breaux, opening the second half of play with a long drive that ate up six minutes of play. A couple of Bourque runs were capped off by a Leger pass to Harmon to cross mid-field, gaining good field position for the Wolves on a steady pace. Despite a key stop by Bear defender Zack Meche on a short Bourque carry, the sideline was visited once again by Rayne’s Williams who tight roped the boundary before stopped by Citizen at Church Point’s 19-yard line. Buchanan and Bourque hit the middle for small gainers before the offensive line opened a seam for six-yard touchdown run by Williams. The extra point was blocked by Bear defenders Chance Roy and Deonta Lazaro, but the Wolves remained ahead of the Bears, 16-0 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

An attempted reverse handoff on the kickoff by the Bears proved costly as Rayne defender Trent Duhon forced a fumble, resulting in a fumble recovery by teammate Patrick Charles, placing the Wolves at first and 10 only 12 yards from another score. Following penalties on both sides of the line, Leger found Buchanan alone in the end zone for another Rayne touchdown. The extra point was wide and Rayne held a 22-0 lead with three minutes remaining in the third quarter of play.

Church Point’s first score of the game came with only seconds remaining in the third quarter as Jake Morvant found receiver Brett Thibodeaux from 19 yards out. The score was set up by productive runs by Morvant, Jacob Boone and Williams. The extra point split the uprights as Church Point lit up their side of the scoreboard, 7-22 in favor of Rayne High.

Church Point elects to boot an off-side kick, but Rayne recovers in good field position on their own 43-yard line. On first and 10, Leger found Harmon for a completion to Church Point’s 37-yard line. As Rayne was looking to score again, the fourth quarter brought about a surge of Bear defenders as Dexter Charles made a key tackle on fourth down on the 29-yard line, allowing the Bears to assume possession.

But, the Rayne defense showed who was stacking up tackles on the evening as Church Point was only able to muster one first down behind a strong defensive showing by Wolf lineman Andrus Broussard, forcing Morvant to throw a near interception slapped down by Buchanan.

The Bears answered with a defensive play of their own mid-way through the last quarter as Citizen blocked a punt, resulting in a Church Point recovery. The momentum continued for the Bears as Morvant took to the air and found Jacob Boone for a Bear touchdown. Brock Latiolais booted the extra point and Church Point was creeping up on Rayne lead, 14-22.

Another off-side kick was recovered by Rayne’s Quinn Guidry and the Wolves again sat near mid-field, this time with only minutes remaining in the ballgame. In three and out, Church Point gets another try for a score. But, the Wolves’ defense has something to say about it with a quarterback sack by Lacy Granger and an interception grabbed by Billy Marcentel, placing Rayne in the driver’s seat once again.

The drive was short-lived as Church Point’s Zack Meche recovered a Rayne fumble and sprinted past the visitors‘ sideline for what appeared to be a touchdown. But, clipping penalty placed the Bears on their own 20-yard line, 80 yards away for a tied ballgame with under three minutes to score. But, 80 yards was just what the Rayne defense needed as the passes failed to reach their receivers and Lacy Granger found Morvant for a quarterback sack and a 22-14 Rayne bi-district win.

Defensively, Rayne recorded three quarterback sacks for 24 lost yards while holding Morvant to only 56 air yards on four completions for the Bears. On the end of those completion were Jacob Boone, Brett Thibodeaux and a couple by Desmond Bellard.

Church Point’s limited ground game was led by Gallen Williams with 31 yards, Jacob Boone at 21 and Davin Landry with 18.

The Wolves recorded 249 ground yards and was led by Jalen Williams (93), Clerance Leger (78), R.J. Buchanan (44) and Brody Bourque (34).

Of nine attempts, Rayne’s Leger connected for five completions for 77 yards to Dannie Harmon, Quinn Guidry and R.J. Buchanan.

Leading the defensive charge were Buchanan, Patrick Charles and Christian Hodges, each with a fumble recovery.

Leading tackles on the night were Charles (6.5), Trent Duhon (5.5), Billy Mercantile (4.5) and Buchanan (3.5).

Concluding on Friday’s bi-district win, Ware stated, “I’m really glad our guys showed what they are able to produce when they up their game play and limit turnovers. They ran their hearts out and it showed on the field big time tonight. This is the team we‘ve been looking for.”

With Bossier’s 27-24 win over E.D. White, the Wolves will host Bossier Friday night at Wolf Stadium in Rayne in the regional round of the 3-A state playoffs.

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