St. Thomas More needed a big shot in the arm after its devastating loss last weekend to crosstown rival Teurlings Catholic.
The Cougars got that in a big way Friday night, from the arm of quarterback William Bellamy.
The STM junior threw four touchdown passes in the first half, helping build a big halftime lead, and the Cougars never looked back in rolling to a 55-14 win over Northside in their District 5-4A battle.
The fifth-ranked Cougars saw a 26-point deficit disappear last Friday in the 56-46 home loss to Teurlings, but Bellamy made sure that wasn’t happening again as he led an explosive offense to 34 unanswered points after the host Vikings had cut an early margin to 7-6 on Cozenski Alfred’s 11-yard scoring run.
“We came out with a mindset,” said Bellamy, who finished 14-of-20 passing for 204 yards. “Last week was tough.
“You could see it in everybody’s eyes that they were disheartened, and we needed to bounce back.”
Bellamy hit Deuce Wallace and Alex Hannie for scoring passes of 26 and 31 yards in the first period, and then hooked up with Hunter Champagne for 21 and 9-yard scores before halftime as the Cougars (7-1, 3-1) took a 34-6 halftime lead.
“He’s been doing that all year for us,” STM coach Jim Hightower of Bellamy. “But tonight, I think he took it to heart to try to pick up the slack for us. He’s become a leader for us.”
STM played without two main offensive cogs in running back Trevor Begue and wide receiver Tiger Bech, both out after injuries against Teurlings. Their absence didn’t show much, as the Cougars continued a streak of scoring 41 or more points in all eight games this season.
STM, which has scored 392 points through eight weeks, scored on seven of its first eight possessions, coming up short only on two incompletions just before halftime.
“Northside is very athletic on defense,” Bellamy said. “We’d lost two of our deep threats, but we had guys step up and that’s going to be big for us the rest of the way.”
Nathan Thevenot added touchdown runs of 1 and 8 yards in the second and third quarters and backup quarterback Matthew Gardner had scoring runs of 20 and 14 yards in the second half as part of STM’s 408-yard offensive attack.
The Vikings (4-4, 2-2), who had won four of their last five, got a 112-yard rushing performance from Alfred. But quarterback Ethan Rose, who had accounted for four touchdowns in last week’s 42-0 win over Opelousas, was held to 7-of-22 passing and had four interceptions, two by Cougars senior Jacolby Broussard.
Wallace, normally a backup running back, rushed for 87 yards to complement Bellamy’s performance along with catching the first touchdown pass.
“We’re missing a lot of firepower,” Hightower said, “but I’m proud of the guys who took that opportunity and ran with it.”