Semaj Lewis needed just 13 seconds to jump-start De La Salle on Friday night in its District 9-3A opener.
The running back tandem of Ricco Wheat and Kendall Collins did the rest.
Wheat scored three touchdowns and the duo combined for 363 yards as De La Salle rolled to a 47-14 victory to claim Uptown bragging rights over Lusher at Pan-American Stadium.
“We strive to get W’s like this,” said the 5-foot-7, 196-pound Wheat. “The offensive line blocked and the receivers blocked. It was just a team effort.”
For the Cavaliers (4-0), ranked No. 4 in The New Orleans Advocate Small School Super 10 and No. 4 in the LSWA 3A polls, it was their fifth straight win in the series against the Lions (2-2), No. 9 in the Super 10.
Wheat, a junior, finished with 171 yards and scored on runs of 4 , 8 and 3 yards in the first half to spring De La Salle to a 33-7 lead at halftime. He had 125 yards on 16 carries in the first half.
At that point, the Cavs were already over halfway to their 53.7 points per game average through their first three games.
Wheat, a freshman, had 121 of his 192 yards in the first half.
“There’s not a running back that we put on the field that we don’t have plenty of confidence in,” said De La Salle coach Ryan Manale, in his fourth season
Friday’s win came on the heels of last week’s eyebrow-raising 62-13 blowout road victory over Union Parish, ranked No. 3 in the LSWA 3A rankings at the time.
The Cavaliers had 444 rushing yards in that victory.
It was the offensive front of Trenton Anderson, Walter Johnson, Nicholas Guthrie, Jeremiah James and Jaylen Hadel bullying the Lusher defense and paving the way.
“It definitely starts in the trenches,” Manale said. “I’m definitely proud of the offensive line and the defensive line. They are winning games for us now.
Lewis, who is committed to Stephen F. Austin, returned the opening kickoff 95 yards to start things off for the Cavaliers.
“He kicked it right down the middle and I just took it to the house,” said Lewis, who won the Class 3A 60 meter indoor title last season.
De La Salle’s other commitment, Christian Booker (Nicholls State), reeled in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Julien Gums for the other first-half touchdown.
The Cavs won despite committing four turnovers (three fumbles and an interception).
Lusher scored its first-half touchdown on a 1-yard run by Ari Broussard with 5:36 left in the first quarter, capping off a 91-yard drive. That score made it 13-7, but the Cavaliers then reeled off 20 straight points to close out the half.
Lusher quarterback Eli Poche (9-of-19 for 183 yards) had one of the night’s biggest plays, connecting with Simeon Thomas for a 98-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
“We started off flat, and I’d say it was more nerves than anything else,” said Lusher coach Louis Landrum. “Once we settled down, I thought we played better. I’m proud of the guys for playing with heart. We didn’t give up or quit.”
Myles Ward, who was injured last week against Union Parish, added two fourth-quarter touchdowns on runs of 17 and 35 yards for the Cavaliers, off to their best start in recent memory.
“I expect the program to mature each year, and I’m really happy with the progress,” Manale said. “They are really buying into our system. The coaches and players are really clicking right now.”
De La Salle plays McMain on Friday at Joe Brown Field, while Lusher hosts St. James.