Rayne slips past Northwest

BY T.J. FONTENOT

LSN STAFF WRITER

PRAIRIE RHONDE – The Rayne Wolves traveled to Northwest High School Friday to take on the Raiders night with hopes of their first district win of the 2008 football season.

The trip back home was a victorious celebration for Rayne High, pulling out a 26-20 win in the pivotal district game.

“Good things happen when you come out confident and play hard,” explained Rayne Head Coach Kurt Ware after the contest. “We knew we needed a win and we went out and worked hard for it all week.”

Rayne’s Antonio Wheeler started off the game with a big run on the first play from the line of scrimmage, dashing 64 yards down to the Raider nine-yard line. Unable to get the ball into the end-zone in four plays, the Wolves committed the first turnover on downs of the night, giving the Raider offense the ball at the 5 yard line.

Luckily, Northwest returned the favor with a fumble, giving the ball to the Wolves at the Raider 30.

Wheeler bursted another big run to get to the 12 sash mark, where Zach Quibodeaux finished the deed by punching it in from two yards out. Broussard’s PAT was good to open up the scoring 7-0 for the Wolves.

The Northwest offense caught a spark of their own by completing a long pass down to the 12 yard line of the Wolves, setting up a 12 yard touchdown run for the Raiders. Trace Duplantis blocked the PAT, leaving the Wolves with a slim 6-7 lead.

The Wolves tried to respond with a drive of their own, but were forced to a three and out as Tyler Venable booted a punt from their 31, giving Northwest the ball at their own 25 with the help of a Raider penalty. The first quarter came to an end with the Raiders facing a second and 11, trialing the Wolves 6-7.

The Raiders would fail to convert fourth down allowing Venable to set up his offense at his own 27 yard line. Venable went to the air and connected with a wide open Andrew Wynn for a big gain, placing the Wolves first and goal on the six yard line. Wynn was then able to finish what he started from one yard out for the touchdown. The added PAT put the Wolves up 14-6.

The Raiders were able to close the gap as the half came to an end with an 11 yard touchdown pass. But the failed two-point conversion left the score 14-12 at half with a slight Rayne lead.

Coming out of the half, the Raiders got the chance to score first, but Rayne’s defense forced a punt after a short three-yard drive.

The Wolves looked to extend the lead with a drive starting deep in their own territory and did not disappoint. Wynn gets another good gain this time on the ground for 57 yards, placing the offense in scoring position at the eight-yard line. Wheeler helped the cause by punching it in from seven yards out. Broussard’s PAT was blocked and the scored remained at 20-12 for the Wolves.

A penalty on the kickoff brought a good return back to the Raider 31, where they took over. After a productive drive, the Raiders rumbled in from one yard out. With a good two-point conversion, things were evened out at 20.

Wheeler made a statement as he carried the ensuing kickoff across midfield down to the Northwest 37, setting up the Rayne offense in nice field position. The end of the third quarter caught the Wolves knocking at the door with a first and 10 from the Raider 13.

Not long into the 4th quarter, Quibodeaux gets his second score of the night for the Wolves, this one coming from one yard out. With another blocked PAT by the Raiders, making the final tally 26-20 for the Wolves.

The Rayne High defense played solid the rest of the way to allow Venable’s offense to run down the clock until he finally knelt the ball as time expired, giving the Rayne Wolves a victorious 26-20 district win.

The Wolves were clicking offensively as they racked up 313 yards of total offense. Leading the way on the ground was Antonio Wheeler with 145 yards on 14 carries, along with Andrew Wynn going 85 yards on 7 carries. Quibodeaux donated 34 yards on 10 carries, while Deotae Landry carried the pigskin once.

Venable’s lone passing attempt was completed to Andrew Wynn for 54 yards, leaving him the lead receiver for the Wolves.

The defense was led by the heart of the D-Line, Trace Duplantis, as he racked up a total of 18 tackles on the night, in addition to a 1.5 tackle for loss yardage.

Linebacker Deontae Landry also collected 16 tackles, one for loss, with one sac on the night. Also recording defensive stats for the Wolves were Bryant Gossen with 5 tackles and 10 assists, Jermil Rogers adding 3.5 tackles and five assists, and Kordiral Alexander and Vincent Sinegal each with three tackles.

Donating a couple of tackles to close out the Rayne defense were Kyle Seaux, Laine Primeaux, Myles Pryor and Andrew Wynn.

After the game, Ware noted, “Our boys came out tonight ready to play and confident in their abilities.” He continued, “If we continue to play like this, we can beat Westminister, and if given the chance, win some games in the playoffs too.”

The Wolves are slated to host Westminster Friday in their last regularly schedule contest of the 2008 season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Wolf Stadium.

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