Bobcats halt Wolves in key district contest
By Lisa Soileaux
RAYNE — In a game predicted by Rayne High Coach Curt Ware as their “pivotal point in the district,” the Euncie Bobcats handed the Wolves their first loss of the 2013 season Thursday evening.
“They (Eunice) looked like they wanted it more by executing their plays and staying on top of their plays,” stated Ware following Rayne’s first loss not just in district, but for the season.
The 23-11 loss places Rayne and Euncie in a two-way tie in District 4-4A. Eunice was handed an unexpected loss last week against LaGrange, who Rayne beat the week before.
“This places us on a long, hard road,” notes Ware of their upcoming district race. “Sure, it’s hard to go the entire district without a loss. But, these guys, with the right mindset, could have done it. We have to collect ourselves and get back on track.”
What looked like a game for the books between two teams that run the same offense, Thursday came down to execution and big playmakers. On those two counts, the Bobcats handed Rayne their first loss on both counts. Eunice beat the Wolves with a consistent offense that turned in almost 440 yards, along with a number of big plays by Bobcat running back Darious Richard.
Richard turned in 200 yards on 34 carries and scored one of Eunice’s three touchdowns.
The Wolves were limited to 167 total offensive yards on the night, compliments of a number of penalities, turnovers and special teams miscues which prevented Rayne from any advancing
In the start of the evenly-match ballgame, neither teams touched the endzone the first quarter and what was anticipated as a defensive battle. But, the Wolves were close -- close enough for a Ty Delahoussaye 27-yard fieldgoal and a short-lived 3-0 Rayne lead.
Eunice answered with a 77-yard scoring drive, ending on a quarterback keeper by Alex Richard 11 yards out. The extra point put the Bobcats up 7-3 early in the second quarter of action.
As the first half ticked down, seemed the Bobcats would increase their lead, but the Rayne defense held a goal-line stance with the half-time break upon them. The defense held strong but Rayne offense could only muster 48 yards in the first half of play.
But, that Rayne momentum didn’t last long with the Bobcats scoring quick out the gates executing a 73-yard scoring drive, ending on a Richard score. The extra point put Eunice up 14-3 with plenty of time remaining.
With both teams trading fumbles, the Wolves found themselves on the three-yard line from where Trent Duhon punched in a touchdown and two-point conversion for a Rayne score, cutting Eunice’s lead to 14-11.
That much-needed Rayne momentum was short-lived when special teams returner Jerwaski Thomas took the kickoff, hit the sideline, and sped past Rayne defenders for a 96-yard touchdown and a 21-11 Euncie lead with the third quarter ending.
But, the third quarter proved letal for the Wolves when a Rayne punt snap went over Delahoussaye’s head and out of the end zone for a safety, increasing the Bobcat lead to 23-11.
Jonathan Dugas snagged an interception in the fourth quarter for the Wolves, placing the pigskin nearfield for an attempt by the Rayne offense for a comback. But, seven plays later and an interception by Euncie, the Bobcats had the ball once again to click out the clock for the big district win.
Rayne’s limited offense was led by Trent Duhon with 78 yards on 16 carries, and Javon Cormier with nine carries and 35 yards.
LeJeune hit the air with three completions on eight attempts and 48 yards.
Bryon Mouton nabbed three catches for 48 yards.
Recovering fumbles for the Wolves were T.J. Bearb and Jonathan Dugas, each with one apiece.
Bearb also led tackles on the night with 10 and four assists. Brice Meche recorded 7 tackles, while Donavon Cormier, Christian Hodges, Jonathan Dugas and Jaquan Cormier each had 5.5 tackles.
“I don’t think we played with as much intensity as they did tonight,” commented Ware on the loss. “Usually when you come off of a loss like they did last week, you re-adjust what you need to and refocus your game plan and who needs to do what. We came off of a win over a team that’s not very good, in addition to homecoming, and a short week not having school today, that dosen’t help. I’m not making excuses, but Euncie is a good team and deserve the win”
The Wolves will travel to Crowley High this week where they will attempt to get back on track against the long-time intra-parish rival.