North DeSoto slips past Rayne Wolves, 15-13
By Lisa Soileaux, LSN Sports Writer
RAYNE - With a strong defensive second half and a field goal mid-way through the last quarter of play, the North DeSoto Griffins pulled ahead of the Rayne High Wolves, 15-13, in the first round of the 4-A state football playoffs.
“You have to give it to them, this is a good ball club,” stated Rayne High Head Coach Curt Ware of North DeSoto. “They controlled the ball on offense and held strong on defense. When you do that, you win ball games.”
The Griffins limited Rayne High to 138 offensive yards on the night, with the Wolves only able to produce four first downs in the close contest.
The Wolves were the first team to light up the scoreboard mid-way through the first quarter of play. Picking up excellent field position, compliments of a blocked punt near midfield, the Wolves need only two plays, a six-yard gainer by Trent Duhon and a 17-yard touchdown run by Javon Cormier, for their first score of the night. The extra point by Ty Delahoussaye placed Rayne up 7-0 heading into the second quarter of play.
The Griffins chipped away with short bursts as they answered in the second quarter with a 75-yard drive, ending on a touchdown run by back Deone Thomas. The extra point was wide and the Wolves held a slim 7-6 lead.
But, Austin Barnes made up with a 28-yard fieldgoal for the Griffins as the first half of play wound down with a 9-6 North DeSoto lead.
Long, time-consuming drives continued to eat up the clock for the Griffins and wear down the Rayne High defense in the second half of the ballgame.
The Wolves held the Griffins to another Barnes fieldgoal midway through the third quarter, extending the North Desoto lead, 12-7.
The Wolves answered with a long drive of their own, a combined 80-yard effort by Trent Duhon and Javon Cormier, completed with a break-away 62-yard TD run by Cormier for the score. Rayne tried to shrink the gap with a two-point conversion, but a pass from Tyler LeJeune and Jaylen Reed was broken up by a Griffin defender, leaving Rayne with a slight 13-12 lead heading into the last quarter of play.
The only score of the final stanza came once again on the foot of Barnes who booted his third field goal of the contest, placing the Giffins ahead 15-13 for the eventual finale.
“When you think how close this game was,” continues Ware of the bi-district loss, “it could have gone either way. With a couple more possessions, we could have pulled the win out -- but, it just didn’t fall that way.”
Time didn’t fall on the side of the Wolves as they were limited to only 9:59 time of possession compared the North DeSoto’s 38.01 total, keeping the Rayne defense on the field for an extended amount of time.
Leading the Rayne defense was Christian Hodges with 13 tackles and 6 assists, followed closely by TJ Bearb and Andrew Broussard each with 10 tackles and 5 assists.
Completing the defensive leaders were Grant Menard and Nicky Faucheaux with 7 tackles each, Donavon Cormier with 4.5, Jonathan Dugas and Desmond Cole each with 3.5, and Jaquan Cormeir and Brice with 3 each.
The Rayne offense was kept on the ground, led by Javon Cormier with 117 yards on 8 carries, and Trent Duhon with 22 yards on 7 carries.
LeJeune was limited to one completion to Duhon on the night.
North DeSoto was able to rack up 344 offensive yards, 239 on the ground and 105 in the air for the win.
“I’m proud of our guys,” concluded Ware of the 2013 season. “When you take a team that lost so many starters from last year and produce an 8-2 season and get into the playoffs with a home game, you have to commend our guys on a good season”