Strong second half records key Rayne win
OPELOUSAS - With a hiccup in the middle of their season, the Rayne High Wolves completed their district slate Friday with a big 49-21 win over Opelousas, completing their regular season at 8-2 overall and a complicated 4-2 district finish.
The complication is a result of four other teams in the district with the possibility of finishing with the same record. With a LaGrange loss to Washington-Marion Friday, the four teams who would join the Wolves with a share of the 4-4A league title would have been Crowley, LaGrange, Eunice, and Washington-Marion.
But, with a LaGrange win Friday, the Gators claimed the district title, with Rayne High and the remaining teams coming up just a game short landing them with a share of the district runner-up placement.
The Wolves, who stood at the 13th position in the state power rankings prior to Friday’s win, will probably hover around that ranking going into Sunday’s announcement of the 4A State Bracket.
“It looks like we will probably stay around that area,” stated Rayne High Coach Curt Ware when looking to the state bracket. “There’s a possibility we could move up a notch or two, but I don’t think we will drop.”
One positive outlook for Ware and the Wolves is a homefield advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
“That home-field advantage is a big help,” commented Ware. “When you have your fans with you in your own stadium, that’s your momentum for the game.”
Official announcements of the state brackets in all classifications will be announced by the LHSAA Sunday evening, with parish and area teams included on the newspaper’s website at www.acadiaparishtoday.com.
In Friday’s 49-21 stomping of Opelousas in their last district game of the 2013 season, Rayne High Head Coach Curt Ware saw a few missed opportunities with a few stutter-steps until after halftime.
“You take a couple dropped passes by us and a long reception by them, you have a totally different ballgame at the half,” stated Ware on the close 21-14 halftime lead.
The Wolves struck first on the night with their defense early on as Jaquan Cormier nabbed an interception return for a touchdown. Ty Delahoussaye added an extra point for a 7-0 Rayne lead.
But, Opelousas countered with a 65-yard scoring drive ending on a KeAndre Jones pass to Michael Clarkson, resulting in a 7-all game with the first quarter winding down.
But, the Wolves were able to convert a short punt and three plays later, saw Trent Duhon score one of his three touchdowns of the night from three yards out. The extra point put the Wolves up, 14-7.
Not to be outdone, Opelousas answered with a 74-yard passing bomb from Jones to Darius Berard to tir up the ballgame once again, this time at 14-all withbthe start of the second quarter at hand.
Prior t the halftime break, the Rayne defense stepped up once again with Andrew Broussard posting an interception deep in the Tigers’ territory, which he trotted in from 11 yards out for a Rayne score. The extra point put the Wolves put the Wolves with a 21-14 advantage at the half.
The second half saw a couple of stalled drives by Rayne, opening the door for the Tigers combine an 84-yards scoring drive mid-way through the third quarter for a 21-all score.
Rayne answered with a 45-yard touchdown pass from Tyler LeJeune who found Travon Fontenot. A botched extra point attempt put the Wolves ahead 27-21 as the final quarter began.
With the Rayne defense stepping it up once again with sacks turned in by Desmond Cole, Donavon Cormier and Brice Meche, the Wolves attained good field position for their fifth score of the night. Gainers by Grant Menard and Javon Cormier setup a 7-yard TD by Duhon an a Delaoussaye extra point for a 34-21 Rayne lead, a lead they only increased as the clocked ticked down.
Another short Opelousas punt from inside their own endzone placed the Wolves in scoring position once again near midfield. A 51-yard drive saw Duhon score his third and last touchdown of the night from 10 yards on the heels of gainers by Cormier and Menard. A two-point conversion pass from Lejeune to Kameron Falcon put the Wolves back on track with a 42-21 lead midway through the final quarter.
The Tigers attempted to move the ball through the air once again, but Rayne defenders Jonathan Dugas and Jaquan Cormier each broke up deep passes, leading to another short Opelousas punt.
With only 28 yards between the lie of scrimmage and the endzone on their final scoring drive, LeJeune found Travon Fontenot for a passing TD and a 49-21 eventual finale.
The Wolves shut down the Tigers once more in their final drive with another interception, this time by Jaylen Reed, who also added 39 yards after the catch. A couple of rushing plays by Cameron Gibson and D.J. Stelly finished off the district win.
Duhon finished the night with his three touchdowns, along with16 carries for 89 yards. Adding to Rayne’s 176 rushing yards for the night were Javon Cormier (13-for-43 yards), Grant Menard (4-22), Jaquan Cormier (2-20), and Stely and Gibson each with a couple yards.
LeJeune’s passing game totaled 112 yards on four completions. REceivers included Travon Fontenot (2 for 73 yards and two touchdowns), Grant Menard (1-26) and Javon Cormeir (1-13).
Christian Hodges led Rayne tackles with 8 and 3 assists, followed closely by Donavon Cormier with 7 tackles and 3 assists.
Helping the stingy Rayne defense who kept Opelousas in the negative in rushing yards were Andrew Broussard, Brice Meche, T.J. Bearb, Jonathan Dugas, Jaquan Cormier, Grant Menard and Desmond Cole.