Grid Stars: Notre Dame defense smothers St. Louis
The highlights from Week 4 of the prep football season in Acadia Parish were plentiful, but none was more impressive than the performance turned in by Hunter Stelly and the Notre Dame Pioneers’ defensive unit.
Notre Dame’s defense was as stingy as it has been all season on Friday, limiting traditional powerhouse St. Louis to just two first downs and 78 yards of total offense in the Pios’ 34-4 victory over the Saints in Lake Charles.
“The good thing was that we never really let them (St. Louis) get going,” said Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook, whose defense is giving up just 9.5 points and 170.5 yards per game. “They made some plays and did some really good things.”
Even more impressive was the fact that 65 of the Saints’ 78 yards occurred on one run late in the fourth quarter with the Pios’ reserves in the game.
Other than that long run, which set up a field goal for the Saints’ lone score, St. Louis was held to just 13 yards on 26 plays.
Stelly led the Pios’ defensive surge with nine tackles and a forced fumble. The senior middle linebacker now has a team-leading 37 tackles - 23 solo and 14 assists - on the year.
“Hunter is just steady in the middle,” said Cook. “He’s really aggressive and he runs well to the ball.
“He was so anxious at the beginning of the year that he was kind of over running the ball and now he’s starting to really get into a good rhythm and he’s under control a lot more. He’s being more consistent and playing really solid.”
Kade Smith had five tackles and a fumble recovery while Nate Link also had five tackles, including a sack. Gavin Bourgeois also had an interception.
Although his secondary led the team in tackles, Cook also credited his defensive line for holding the Saints to minimal yardage.
“Our front four really got after them hard and didn’t let them get any push at all,” said Cook of Link, Connor Kirsch, Zack Henry and Curt Petitjean. “We never let them get a chance to get going. They did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage.”
Other impressive performances in Week 4 were turned in by Rayne’s Byron Mouton and Trent Duhon as well as Crowley High’s Pate Broussard, Ty’Von Griffin and Thomas Cavell.
Mouton racked up a season-high 190 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries in Rayne’s 35-21 victory over Washington Marion. He scored on a 57-yard run early in the game and then broke loose on a 72-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Duhon also had a big night with 160 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.
In Crowley, Broussard and Griffin carried much of the load offensively in the Gents’ 46-19 victory over Beau Chene on Homecoming night.
Broussard had his most efficient night of the year through the air by completing 15 of 20 pass attempts for 222 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He hit Terrell Thomas on a 49-yard scoring strike and then connected with Cavell for a 32-yard touchdown.
Cavell finished the night with eight catches for 111 yards.
In other action, Nick Sloane rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in Iota’s 23-14 loss to Welsh and James Bellard reeled off 106 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries in Church Point’s 41-23 loss to Loreauville.