Notre Dame welcomes Catholic High for home opener
There have been some memorable games between the Pios and Catholic, New Iberia, but few the Panthers care to remember. Maybe the last Panthers win, 56-28, in 2014 which was ironically also the last time Teurlings had a win over Notre Dame.
The Pios have won 24 of 27 games with Catholic including last season’s battle of unbeatens in week 10. The 2015 meeting was to be for the district title also but the shine was off when Catholic had to forfeit four wins prior to the game won by the Pios, 41-0.
Then there was the 2009 playoff snow game played on a cold, white field in a flurry. Notre Dame dominated in a 43-0 win and went on to win the State Championship.
“They were an offensive team, coming off a big win over Redemptorist, and they scored a lot of points that year, but they also gave up a lot of points and when you put a high-powered offense in those conditions it makes it tough,” remembers coach Lewis Cook. “We’ve had some really good games over the years like when Mike Desormeaux was their QB. Since coach Indest has been there, it’s been kind of up and down. They beat us pretty bad when we had five players out, but we have had good success other times.”
The Pios will again be facing a high-powered offense when Catholic comes to town. The Panthers have scored 152 points in three wins and have the speed to produce big plays with QB Diallo Landry and tailback Jaden Stokes.
“It starts with trying to stop the run. Keeping them contained and taking something away is not easy to do, but that is the way we have always approached it. Their offense thrives on teams that run up the field, looking in to the backfield, and get caught up in the misdirection. Defensively, you have to take care of your area and stay home before chasing air.”
The Panthers 3-3 stack defense will again be a challenge. The look is three down linemen and three linebackers and will shift to four and five-man fronts to try and keep Cook’s offense off guard.
“We are a running team and that defense puts a lot of people in the box. Teams in the Pro and I like us are going against a lot of bodies inside. We have to be creative with formations and figure out ways to create some holes for the runners.”
Notre Dame won in the trenches against Teurlings. Offensively, the Pios “Downhill Express” had 17 runs of five or more yards, with eight of those for 10 or more. Pass protection was good for routes to earn ten or more yards on seven of eight completions.
“We won the battle up front, whether it was knocking them off the line or getting on them and giving us a little time to crease it with our running backs,” reflected coach Cook. “Our defense was just as good up front shutting down their running game and forcing them to pass where we made some big plays with interceptions.”
There are no official school records, but the 49-yard field goal by junior John William Lamm is more than likely the longest by a Notre Dame kicker. Of his seven kickoffs, three were touchbacks and four directional kicks were all tackled inside the twenty.
GAME BALL AWARDS
Big Play of the Game – Konnor Broussard Interception – With the Pios leading 13-7, Teurlings drove from its 19-yard line to the Notre Dame 13. On the third play of the second quarter, Broussard had perfect coverage down the left sideline, turned for the ball in front of the receiver at the goal line and went up to intercept in the end zone. The Pios then drove 80 yards for a 20-7 lead and the outcome of the game was all but decided on the momentum changing play.
Pios Offensive Line – In their second game together as a unit, the front five produced a 273-yard rushing night for Pios backs.
Collin Kirsch – Ran for 100 yards and three touchdowns
Noah Bourgeois – Ran for 107 yards and two scores.
Thomas Stevens – Led Pios with 13 tackles
Cameron Nelson – Posted 8 tackles, a sack, an interception and a QB hurry
Jacob Dore – Had five tackles, an interception and almost another that might have halted only Teurlings scoring drive.
David Schmid – Solid game at safety with four tackles, a sack, a stop for a loss and blanket pass coverage.
With two minutes to play in the first half of last year’s week ten matchup of unbeaten teams, Catholic QB Diallo Landry had thrown a 54-yard TD pass and then marched the Panthers 86-yards sparked by his 47-yard run to lead 14-0.
Their backs against the wall for the first time in 2016, QB Bryant Thevis connected on a 48-yard pass to Sam Hoffpauir on a circle route down the sideline. Thevis dove in from a yard out to cut the halftime lead to 14-7.
The Panthers made just one second half first down and finished with 172 yards of offense. Catholic had two big plays for 101 of those yards and the Pios defense was so dominant that CHNI netted just 12 yards on 42 other plays.
After tying the game, Pio Gentry Borill got open down the sideline for a 44-yard catch. Two plays later, Borill made a sliding catch for a 9-yard TD and a 21-14 PIos lead.
With three minutes to play, John William Lamm booted a 36-yard field goal for a ten-point lead. One last shot from Catholic High was halted when Wynn Olinger stepped in front of a Landry pass and returned 23-yards for a touchdown.
The Pios controlled the ball for 31 of the 48 game minutes, won the District 5-2A crown and wrapped an undefeated regular season with the 31-14 win.
Coach Brent Indest (162-74) has his team off to a 3-0 start with wins over Westgate (42-35), St; Louis (54-24) and St. Thomas Aquinas (56-17). His Wing T offense employs elements of the spread passing attack making the Panthers offense a tough challenge to stop.
Two key offensive threats return in senior QB Diallo Landry (6-3, 210) and senior speedster Jaden Stokes (5-8, 165) at running back. Landry ran for 3 TDs and threw a 41-yard TD pass to wide receiver Peter Leblanc (6-3, 170) who has 10 catches for 261 yards and 3 TDs on the year. Last week against St. Thomas Aquinas, Landry threw for 124 yards and ran for 111 with a 7-yard TD run. For the season, Landry has run for 253 yards and 6 TDs while passing for 474 yards on just 17 completions and 4 TDs.
Stokes rushed for 216 yards and a score against Westgate and will move to the wing and slot for counters and pass catching. Against STA last week, Stokes ran for 99 yards and scores of 37, 33 and 9 yards and now has 430 yards and seven scores in three games. Senior Ben Landry (5-7, 165) has 140 yards on 16 carries with two scores.
Senior guards Harrison Schexnayder (5-11, 210) and Warner Simon (5-11, 205) are returning starters. The tackles are senior Chandler Bertinot (6-4, 210) and junior Jerry Mullen (6-3, 210).
The Panthers use a 3-3 stack defense that is designed to stop the running game with six people between the tackles and will employ shifts into four and five across the front. Three-year starter Zi’yon Hill (6-2, 265) has moved on to UL and the Panthers have a reshuffled front led by senior nose guard Jacob Lanassa (5-8, 220).
Senior Armon LeBlanc (6-2, 195), leads the linebackers. Cornerback is filled by two way players in junior receivers Zoe Cormier (5-7, 150) and Peter LeBlanc.