LAFAYETTE — It may have been a jamboree, and Vermilion Catholic may have changed up its offensive coaching staff, but the Screaming Eagles and quarterback Hunter Frith are in midseason form.
Frith threw for 274 yards and four touchdowns in less than 16 minutes, guiding the Eagles to a runaway 35-6 win over Westminster in Friday’s opening game of the Kiwanis Club Jamboree’s small-school select segment.
Ascension Episcopal beat Hanson 14-0 in Friday’s second game at St. Thomas More’s Cougar Stadium. Catholic-New Iberia, last year’s Division III select finalist, faced Central Catholic of Morgan City in the jamboree finale.
Frith hit on 10 of his first 13 passes and had 244 passing yards in the first 12-minute half, including touchdown passes of 22 yards to Tyler Derouen and 33 yards to Devren Constantine, and the Eagles got inside the Westminster 10 two more times in the first half.
Frith only played two plays in the second half, both of them one-play touchdowns drives. He hit Derouen with a 12-yard scoring toss and Payton Trahan with an 18-yard score after a shanked punt to build a 28-0 lead with 8:07 left.
“He had a good day,” VC coach Russell Kuhns said of Frith, who finished 12-of-15. “He’s getting better every week. I’m really proud of the way our offense performed.”
Kuhns has taken on more of the play-calling with a shuffling of the coaching staff, but nothing has slowed down for an Eagles team that won its last nine regular-season games last year before being upset in the second round of the playoffs. VC had 290 yards in the first period on the way to a 348-yard total in the battle of District 7-1A rivals. The Eagles defense held the Crusaders to 64 yards until WCA drove 84 yards on four plays to its only score. Noah Launey ran 15 yards with 1:42 left for that touchdown.
Derouen, in addition to his two touchdowns and his four catches for 78 yards, also had a 50-yard punt return to set up his own scoring catch to open the second half. He also picked off Westminster quarterback Kaleb Prudhomme midway through the first half for one of two turnovers forced by the VC defense.
“He’s just an athlete,” Kuhns said of the senior two-way player. “He’s a true weapon that can do it all. He’s a really talented kid that can make a lot of things happen.”
The only major negatives for the Eagles were ones that were self-inflicted. VC was flagged eight times for 84 yards in penalties in the first 12 minutes, and a fumble by Andre Girouard at the Crusaders 7-yard line cost the Eagles a chance at a three-touchdown lead before halftime.
“We definitely have things we can work on,” Kuhns said. “Our defense was a little soft at times.”
ASCENSION EPISCOPAL 28, HANSON 0: Jake Arceneaux threw for two scores and Zach Ronquillo returned the second-half kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown to lead the Blue Gators to an easy victory over their District 7-1A rivals.
Arceneaux hit Roland LeBlanc for a 48-yard touchdown on Ascension Episcopal’s first possession and hit Jake Vascocu for a 25-yard score four plays into the second half. The Blue Gators, who averaged 38 points per game during last year’s regular season, scored on each of their first three possessions along with Ronquillo’s kickoff return.
Running backs Josh Hebert and Peyton Adams teamed for 108 rushing yards, with Hebert providing the Gators’ other touchdown on a 1-yard run with 4:08 left before halftime. Arceneaux finished 6-of-7 passing for 122 yards.
“He’s really doing a good job of running this offense,” Ascension Episcopal coach Michael Desormeaux said of his senior quarterback. “Our offense is quarterback-driven, and we’re going to go as far as he goes.”
Hanson quarterback Britt Young threw for 81 yards on 13-of-19 completions, but the Tigers managed only 14 rush yards as a team.
CATHOLIC-NEW IBERIA 21, CENTRAL CATHOLIC 0: Seth Pierre ran for 120 yards and two first-half touchdowns and Ja’Vaughn Narcisse had a pair of interceptions to lead the Panthers to a shutout win over the Eagles.
Pierre had scoring runs of two and 15 yards in the game’s first seven minutes in leading a CHNI offense that tallied all of its 183 yards in the game on the ground. The Panthers, who won 12 straight last year before losing to Calvary Baptist in the Division III title game, got their other score when quarterback Diallo Landry led a 62-yard drive early in the second half and capped it himself with a one-yard fourth-down sneak.
The CHNI defense held the Eagles to a minus-four total offensive yards and held standout running back Stefano Guarisco to a minus eight yards rushing.