Defense helps carry Acadiana back to Dome _lowres

Advocate photo by BRAD KEMP Zachary wide receiver Braylon James is tackled by Acadiana linebacker Da'narius Williams during their Class 5A playoff game last Friday at Bill Dotson Stadium in Scott.

SCOTT — When Acadiana High School clinched its second consecutive trip to the 5A state finals last Friday against Zachary, it did so on the back of its defense.

The Wreckin’ Rams held Zachary to three points on a first-quarter field goal. From there, the defense took over, and, in one of the more physical games they’ve played all year, simply shut the Broncos down.

“It was big the other night where the defense made some tremendous plays,” said Acadiana coach Ted Davidson, whose team plays Destrehan at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the state championship. “To hold them out of the end zone was an incredible performance. Our secondary really shut down a talented group of receivers and a really good quarterback.”

The secondary, led by Ronald Broussard, intercepted Zachary quarterback Lindsey Scott three times. Kevin Moore, who aside from starting at quarterback, had 115 tackles as a linebacker and also intercepted Scott in the fourth quarter.

Moore said he has gotten better and the defense has been playing at a high level.

“I got way better this year,” Moore said. “I feel like a handled my business this year and did well. Our defense really stepped up and everyone has been just doing their jobs.”

Moore said earlier in the season when the Rams struggled, the defense continued to be a consistent force and pick up some of the offensive slack. Now, Moore said with both units clicking at the right time, football is a lot of fun.

“When the offense was struggling, we knew we had to step up and play better defense,” Moore said. It’s been a long journey. I’m glad our defense stepped up when we needed to and that no one gave up on the season.”

Davidson said he recognized early on that the defense would carry the Rams as far as they could go. Not only against Zachary, but the week before against Mandeville.

“We basically shut Mandeville down,” Davidson said. “We struggled bad offensively and they scored one on a short field, and they got one late on us, but we did a good job on them.”

Davidson said he in order for the Rams to take home back-to-back championships, Moore and the defense will need to be on top of their game.

“Kevin at ‘Mike’ backer is doing his thing over there,” he said. “He had a big interception (against Zachary) and the defense has really been there for us all year.”

Moore said the Rams will definitely benefit from a return trip to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. He said a lot of the distractions from last year will be secondary to the game.

“I don’t think we are going to be worried about the crowd and the atmosphere and things like that,” Moore said. “We’re just going to be there to play football.”