Three Bobcats named to 4-A All-State
By Daniel Green
Written for the LSWA
Belle Chasse quarterback Blake Matherne had the kind of season many players dream about.
First, Matherne led his team to a road win over top-ranked Bastrop, the defending state champion, in the semifinals. The following week, he won the MVP award in leading the Cardinals to a 28-7 victory over Shaw in the Class 4A state title game.
Now Matherne can add another honor after being selected as the Offensive Most Valuable Player on the Class 4A All-State team of the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
Belle Chasse coach Bob Becnel was picked as the Coach of the Year by a panel of sportswriters from across the state. Defensive back Chad Boyd of 4A runner-up Archbishop Shaw was selected as the Defensive MVP.
The Acadiana area landed six players on the 4A team, led by three from Eunice - running back Tyler Collins, linebacker Kendall Sam and defensive back Troy Godfrey. Offensive lineman Casey Alfred and linebacker Jacarde Carter were selected from Northside while Breaux Bridge defensive lineman Churphy Steward rounded out the local honorees.
Entering the state championship game, Matherne had accounted for 3,683 yards and 47 touchdowns, combining his totals rushing and passing. Thanks to a stellar showing in the finals, he surpassed the 4,000-yard barrier and finished with 50 touchdowns.
Becnel’s Cardinals suffered just one loss during the season, a 28-27 decision to Shaw, which Belle Chasse avenged with its victory in the state title game. Boyd had 126 tackles, five interceptions and seven passes broken up for Shaw entering the state final.
Matherne was joined on the team by teammates James Wright and Jeremy Vujnovich.
Wright, a junior wide receiver, reeled in 35 passes for 559 yards and 10 touchdowns in eight regular season games, while Vujnovich was the top offensive lineman for a team that averaged nearly 450 yards on offense. Shaw landed one other player on the first-team defense, linebacker Darius Robinson, who averaged more than 10 tackles per game.
The offensive backfield also included running backs Michael Ford of Leesville, Eunice’s Tyler Collins and Pearl River’s James Gillum. Ford, an LSU commitment, rushed for 2,953 yards and 29 touchdowns for the Wampus Cats.
Collins led Eunice’s Wing-T attack, rushing for 1,495 yards and 14 touchdowns on 239 carries, while Gillum had 1,224 yards and 17 TDs on 170 carries for PRHS.
Bastrop senior Stanley Moore (52 catches, 952 yards, 11 TDs) and Salmen’s Isiah Tate (37-581, 9 TDs) were the other receivers.
Northside senior Casey Alfred, Neville senior Justin Ellis, Zachary senior Dustin Wray and Sam Houston senior Zach Morgan complete the offensive line. Neville junior Matthew Squyers was named the all-state place kicker, while Bastrop quarterback Rueben Randle, the nation’s top-ranked recruit, was the first-team athlete after passing for 2,461 yards and rushing for 683 yards.
Randle and Moore saw three of their Bastrop teammates named first-team all-state on the defensive side of the ball. Senior defensive linemen DeQuinta Jones, a Michigan commitment, and Josh Downs, an LSU commitment, were named to the squad, along with senior defensive back Radarious Winston. Karr’s Dwayne Mitchell and Breaux Bridge’s Churphy Steward (85 tackles, 5 sacks, 5 fumble recovers) joined Jones and Downs on the all-state defensive line. Northside senior Jacarde Carter (140 tackles, 3.5 sacks), Neville senior Foster Jones and Eunice senior Kendall Sam (98 tackles, 7 sacks, 3 interceptions) were the other linebackers. Leesville senior Devin Moran and Eunice senior Troy Godfrey (88 tackles, two interceptions) while the return specialist was Javone Lawson of Helen Cox and the punter was LSU baseball signee Zack Von Rosenberg of Zachary.