BREAUX BRIDGE — Breaux Bridge showed everybody it’s possible to slow down Teurlings Catholic quarterback Cole Kelley on Friday night.
Kelley showed everybody that he won’t stay down for long, and the Rebels (4-1) showed that even when Kelley isn’t on top of his game, the rest of the team isn’t too bad either in a 31-15 win against the Tigers (3-2).
Kelley completed 11-of-12 second-half passes for a pair of scores to running back Sage LeBlanc, and while he was finding his rhythm the Teurlings Catholic defense took control of the game with a dominant second and third quarter.
“I thought (the defense) kept their end of the bargain up, especially in the first half,” said Teurlings coach Sonny Charpentier.
Knotted at seven, the tide turned in the second quarter thanks to that Rebels defense. Outside of field goal range, Breaux Bridge went for it on 4th and 11 from the Teurlings 29-yard line. Tigers quarterback Drake Guidry received pressure right away and heaved a desperation pass off his back foot.
It was intercepted by Brandon Batiste, who eluded a couple Breaux Bridge players on his way to an 80-yard touchdown.
Before the pick-six, it looked like Breaux Bridge had dialed up the perfect game plan.
The Tigers roared out of the gate, thanks to some clutch passing from Guidry.
Guidry connected on a pair of passes that converted key first downs on Breaux Bridge’s opening drive, including a 20-yard dart on a 4th and 7. The Tigers marched 80 yards on nine plays on that first drive, culminating in a one-yard touchdown plunge from Orel Ledet.
The Rebels were quick to counter, though.
Kelley, who entered the game as one of the state’s leading passers with 1,191 yards and 13 touchdowns, got off to a hot start against the Tigers, completing three of his first four passes for 47 yards as he led the Rebels down the field on a seven-play 65-yard drive.
Kelley capped the drive off with a 6-yard touchdown run to knot the game early. But the Tigers quickly figured Kelley out after the opening drive.
They brought pressure on the Rebels signal caller, and the 6-foot-7 Kelley didn’t play to his usual high standards with hands in his face. At one point, the Tigers forced Kelley to throw nine consecutive incompletions, and they intercepted him twice in the second quarter.
“You’ve got to have a short memory as a quarterback,” Charpentier said. “You’ve just got to keep coming back and trying.”
But the Rebels’ ground game was there to pick up Kelley’s slack. After just two rushing attempts in the first quarter, Teurlings turned to running backs LeBlanc and Noah Harris while Kelley struggled to find his rhythm.
“It’s one thing that’s overlooked with our team,” Kelley said. “That’s why the pass is always open, because we can run the ball effectively. After tonight people are going to realize that.”
The Rebels’ put together a 17-play, 59-yard drive to eat up almost the entire second quarter, getting a couple big first down conversions from Harris on the ground.
“I thought it was methodical,” Charpentier said.
The Tigers only touched the ball for three plays in the third quarter as Kelley found his touch again, burning Breaux Bridge for 115 yards on 9-of-10 passing during two long drives. His 9-yard touchdown to LeBlanc on the first play of the fourth quarter gave the Rebels a 31-7 lead.
A three-yard Marquis Domonter touchdown run and a two-point conversion by Breaux Bridge provided the final score.
The Rebels have two weeks to prepare for a huge road matchup against St. Thomas More. Breaux Bridge will travel to face a resurgent Northside team next week.