LAFAYETTE — St. Thomas More landed an impressive 31-13 victory over Sulphur on Friday night at home.
The Cougars scored first with a 43-yard field goal coming off of kicker Bailey Raborn’s impressive leg.
“The kicking game was big all night long,” STM coach Jim Hightower said.
Not only did Raborn score points, but his consistent punting and kickoffs gave the Cougars the field position advantage most of the game.
The Cougars had to knock a little rust off on their first official game back, but Hightower said he was happy with his team’s play.
STM quarterback William Bellamy went 14 of 20 for one interception and three scores, two of them passing touchdowns.
His first touchdown came on a 1-yard run on the Cougars’ second drive of the game for a 10-0 lead. Capitalizing on its great field position, STM took over on the Tors’ 18-yard line, and after a 17-yard run by Evan Trahan to the Sulphur 1-yard line, Bellamy snuck in for the touchdown.
The Cougars offense sputtered the next couple of drives, with Bellamy throwing an interception to Sulphur’s Toby Duhon on a tipped pass.
“In the first half we were kind of shaky; it was the first time getting back on the field,” Bellamy said.
Following the interception Sulphur went three-and-out, and a shanked punt put STM in great field position again.
The Cougars took over at the Sulphur 39. On second-and-3, Bellamy delivered a beautifully placed ball to the corner of the end zone, hitting receiver Trevor Begue’s outstretched arms for an 18-yard touchdown.
Bellamy said the interception was frustrating but didn’t get him down for long.
“You’ve got to get back out there and lead your team and then driving down the field and scoring a touchdown is the best way to get over that,” he said.
The touchdown put the Cougars up 17-6 entering halftime.
That was the first of the quarterback and receiver’s two touchdown connections.
STM opened the third quarter on its own 20 line and marched 80 yards for a touchdown.
Bellamy was 6-for-7 on the drive, capped with a 14 yard touchdown to Begue.
With the Cougars up 24-6, Hightower began giving some of the backups playing time.
“The second- and third-stringers finished the game hard,” he said.
Cougars backup quarterback Matthew Gardner gave his team its final point score when he completed a 14-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to wide receiver Griffin Hebert.
Sulphur struggled to move the ball much, thanks to STM’s good line play and steady quarterback pressure.
However, the Sulphur duo of quarterback Byron Walker and tight end Christian Trahan had a pair of touchdowns, the first on a 6-yard pass in the first quarter and a second on a 5-yard pass in fourth quarter.