Wolves nip Greyhounds in overtime win

By TJ Fontenot

LSN Sports

Rayne High head football Coach Kurt Ware knew that it would take a good week of practice to handle the Welsh Greyhounds. But, what he didn’t know was that Mother Nature had another plan.

“A short week really hurts the preparation to show the kids the new offensive and defensive schemes so that they have some idea of what to expect” stated Ware.

The Wolves and Greyhounds squared off on another unusual game day playing last Wednesday during a 5 p.m. contest. The Wolves had played against Ville Platte on the Saturday before, leaving only two days to prepare for the Greyhounds.

But, once again the Wolves stepped up to the challenge to defeat the Welsh Greyhounds in an exciting overtime victory, 19-18.

On their second possession of the ballgame, the Wolves began on their own 28-yard line to traveled 72 yards downfield for their first score of the ballgame. Fueled by two big third down conversions, a four-yard TD pass from Tyler Venable to Antonio Wheeler capped off the score. The PAT didn’t fair and the Wolves held a 6-0 early lead.

Rayne’s defense then took over and forced the Greyhound offense backward, powered by a QB sack and nine yard loss. The forced punt proved to be good for the Wolves as a bad snap sets the Welsh offense up at the Wolf 17 yard line.

Welsh’s offense then failed to capitalize on the field position and gave up the ball on a big fourth down stop by the Rayne defense.

The Greyhound defense answered and came up big to force a fumble at the Rayne 29 yard line to give Welsh the ball back and put the Wolf defense back on the field with little rest.

The Greyhounds then got something going and made sure there was no goose egg on their end of the scoreboard, seeing their full-back power his way into the end-zone from four yards out. The PAT was blocked by Bryant Gossen to even things off at 6-6.

The Rayne offense then came on strong after the turnover, marching 35 yards before Venable goes deep to have Vincent Sinegal snag a 29-yard jump-ball for a touchdown. The PAT failed again, placing the Wolves ahead 12-6 with only 48 seconds remaining, finishing out the first half of play.

Welsh opened up offensively in the second half, but didn’t stay on long as the strong Wolf defense forced a punt to set their offense up at the Rayne 38.

Rayne’s drive didn’t last long either as Wheeler fumbled to give Welsh the ball back at their own 43.

But, the Rayne defense bailed the offense out again by forcing the Greyhound offense to punt once again. A bad snap gave the punter no choice but to down the ball for a loss at the Welsh 33 yard line, giving the Wolf offense good field position for another try.

Both defenses just won’t give in and Rayne’s turnovers continue to add up until Welsh got the break they needed by converting a fourth down to set up a 4 yard touchdown run. But, the failed two point conversion keeps things even at 12-12.

The Wolves finally got something going on offense as Venable airs one out to Wheeler for a big 47-yard gain, having the Wolves threatening to score from 23 yards out.

Venable’s next pass was then tipped at the line and was up for grabs when a Greyhound defender intercepted the ball to put the Wolf threat to an end.

With the Rayne defense holding strong again, regulation time ended with the score even at 12-12, sending the game into overtime.

As in high school overtime, both teams got a chance to score from the 10 yard line and the winner of the toss can defer or receive the ball. Rayne won the toss and defers to be on defense first.

The Greyhounds wasted no time to set the pace for overtime as they scored on their first play from scrimmage. Welsh then decide to go for the two point conversion, but Rayne’s defense dug in deep as Myles Pryor and Bryant Gossen combined to stop the Greyhound attack for the second time.

This proved to be damaging as Venable handed the ball to Andrew Wynn on the second play of Rayne’s series to blast his way 16 yards for the touchdown, tying things up at 18-all.

Venable, who had been struggling with extra points, thrived under the pressure to boot the kick through the uprights for the game-winning PAT and the Wolves’ 19-18 win.

“Turnovers absolutely killed us tonight,” stated Ware of the close win. “If we want to be a good football team down the stretch, we have got to eliminate the turnovers and overall mental mistakes”.

Defensive leaders for the Wolves were Trace Duplantis who destroyed the Welsh offensive line to record 15 tackles, while Bryant Gossen followed closely with 12.

The Rayne defense as a whole performed very well despite the lone Welsh score, allowing only 140 total yards on the night and forcing eight Welsh Greyhound punts.

The Rayne offense also shined at different points of the ballgame. The Wolves did very well, even though the score doesn’t show it, moving the ball for 302 total yards on the night.

The killer for Rayne were the five turnovers that came throughout the game.

Leading the rushing attack for the Wolves was Antonio Wheeler who carried the ball 16 times for 60 yards, and Zach Quibodeaux who totaled 40 yards on 10 runs.

Pulling down most of Venable’s passes on the night was Vincent Sinegal, nabbing three catches for 58 yards and one touchdown.

The Wolves will travel to Jeanerette Friday for a non-district contest against the Tigers.

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