Pine Prairie running back Hayden Bourgeious (17) receives the handoff as he tries to find running room against the St. Edmund Blue Jay defense in Friday night’s 69-3 loss. The Panthers fell to 0-6 on the season and are scheduled to play Ville Platte High this coming Friday night in a District 5-3A contest. (Photo courtesy of Tom Dodge)
EUNICE -- In a game that was formed out of necessity, the St. Edmund Blue Jays rolled up 488 yards of total offense in their 69-6 win over the Pine Prairie Panthers Friday night.
The first meeting between the two schools came at the last minute when both teams’ opponents could not play due to COVID-19 protocols. Pine Prairie was scheduled to play Iota, while St. Ed’s had a date lined up with Sacred Heart.
With the loss, the Panthers fell to 0-6 on the season. Pine Prairie is scheduled to host Ville Platte High in a District 5-3A contest this coming Friday.
Despite the lopsided loss, Pine Prairie head coach Richard Clark talked about the biggest positive to come from the game.
“To me just getting to play a game is a huge plus for our team,” stated Clark. “When I was told we weren’t going to get to play against Iota, my thoughts went to the seniors. Fortunately they did not have to lose a game their last year playing football.”
“I have always said if I had the opportunity to play one more football game and get beat, I’d rather play that game than not play at all,” Clark continued. “They may not understand that now, but they will when they get older. At the end of the day, it is about the players.”
St. Ed’s received the opening kickoff and wasted no time getting on the board. Starting on the Pine Prairie 40-yard line because of a personal foul call on the Panthers during the kick, the Blue Jays needed only five plays to score.
On first and ten from the Panther 27-yard line, quarterback Henry Brown found wide out Gus Brown for the touchdown pass, giving the Blue Jays a lead they would never relinquish. Justin Landry added the extra point to make it 7-0 St. Ed’s with 10:09 to go in the first quarter.
Pine Prairie could not do much with their first possession of the game and was forced to punt the ball back to the Blue Jays.
St. Ed’s began their next drive from their 33-yard line following the kick and eased their way back down the field. On the fifth play of the possession, running back Taylor Daire scampered past all Panther defenders for a 51-yard touchdown run.
The point after was good from Landry, and the Blue Jays held a 14-0 lead with 5:08 to go in the opening period.
The Panthers received the pooch kick at their 26-yard line to start the ensuing drive. This time, the Panther passing game came to life, allowing Pine Prairie to move the ball to the Blue Jay 33-yard line.
On second and eight, Panther quarterback Branson Fontenot found sophomore Elijah George one-on-one with a St. Ed’s defender. George, using his body as a shield, collected the ball at the 19-yard line and dashed his way to pay dirt.
The extra point was no good, however, Pine Prairie had cut the Blue Jay lead down to eight, 14-6, with 2:23 to go in the first quarter.
St. Ed’s took over possession at their 49-yard line following the ensuing kick. Two big plays set the Blue Jays up at the Panther 19-yard line.
On first and 10, Brown found Easton Coleman on a crossing route at the 14-yard line, where the senior wide out grabbed the football and raced to the end zone. St. Ed’s went for the two point conversion after two offside calls on Pine Prairie, and Kieran Davis dove in to make the score 22-6 with 1:12 to go in the period.
St. Ed’s would scored on their next four possessions, all in the second quarter, to take a commanding 49-6 lead into the locker room. The first scored came on a 66-yard pass from Brown to Coleman.
The second touchdown of the quarter was courtesy of a Davis five yard run. Touchdown number three saw another Brown to Brown connection, this time from 35 yards out. The final score before half happened via a Davis 82 yard fumble recovery.
The Blue Jays would go on to add two more scores in the third quarter and another in the final period.
Hayden Bourgeious led all Pine Prairie runners with 46 yards on 15 carries. Fontenot finished the night 10 of 12 for 138 yards and a touchdown. Josiah Ortis had three catches for 45 yards.