SHREVEPORT — El Dorado (Arkansas) wanted no more of St. Thomas More on Thursday night at The Battle on the Border at Independence Stadium.
Coach Jim Hightower’s Cougars dominated the matchup as STM walloped the Class 6A Wildcats 44-14. The victory raised STM’s record to 2-0 while El Dorado dropped to 1-1.
“(Quarterback Will) Bellamy is a heck of a player,” Hightower said. “He gives us a lot of great experience as well as a lot of talent at our quarterback position. I think he is going to have a tremendous year, and this was a great way to start.”
Bellamy completed 14 of 29 passes for 142 yards and just one interception as he kept the El Dorado defense honest. Trevor Begue was his favorite target with six catches for 71 yards. Griffin Hebert also had five receptions for 56 yards.
Evan Trahan led a powerful STM rushing attack with 81 yards on 13 attempts while Travon Reed added 69 tough yards.
There was no letdown from the Cougars to start the third quarter, even though they were leading 24-0. Hunter Hall had runs of 10 and 15 yards to help set up his team at El Dorado’s 8-yard line. That’s when Bellamy took it himself on a keeper for the touchdown and a 31-0 advantage on his team’s first possession of the second half.
Backup quarterback Matthew Gardner got in on the act too as he fired a 36-yard TD pass to Griffin Hebert.
The Cougars’ Ethan Broussard made sure the defense scored also when he returned a fumble 11 yards for STM’s final score.
The Cougars capitalized on a poor El Dorado punt for their first touchdown. Kaleb Dull shanked his punt attempt for 5 yards to give STM a first down at the 34-yard line.
Three plays later Bellamy found Jamison Thibodeaux for a 17-yard touchdown with 9:01 left in the first quarter.
On the Cougars' next possession, Bellamy marched his team 66 yards on nine plays. Trevon Reed battled his way for a 12-yard touchdown despite having his face mask pulled. He also broke a couple of tackles to give his team a 14-0 lead.
A 21-yard pass catch and run by Trevor Begue was the big play on STM’s next touchdown drive. That gave the Cougars a first down at the 3. Evan Trahan his bulled his way into the end zone on the next snap.
That TD provided STM a 21-0 cushion.
But that wasn’t all in the first half. Thanks to more good field position, the Cougars had a chance for another touchdown. However, a catch in the end zone by Parker Powell was ruled incomplete after an officials conference.
Bailey Raborn promptly kicked a 25-yard field goal with 34 seconds left, and STM headed to halftime with a 24-0 advantage.