SCOTT — Lafayette High came within one play of putting up a defensive gem and remaining undefeated Friday night.
But that one fourth-quarter play was enough for Acadiana’s Wreckin’ Rams to maintain its dominance of the area’s top big-school rivalry.
Donovan Soloman sprinted 80 yards on a hook-and-lateral with 2:13 remaining, bringing the Rams from behind and giving the hosts a 15-12 win over the Mighty Lions in the District 3-5A opener for both teams.
“I feel like we stole one,” said Acadiana coach Ted Davidson, whose team snapped a rare two-game losing streak. “It was one of those plays we work on in pass skeleton. We’d scored on it against Neville a few years ago.”
The play put a damper on a stellar defensive effort staged by the Lions, who lost for the first time after three season-opening wins.
LHS had limited Acadiana’s vaunted veer attack to two lengthy drives in the game while coming up with five fumble recoveries — four of them fumble recoveries on four straight second-half Acadiana possessions.
But the Lions (3-1, 0-1) only converted two Steven Artigue field goals of 19 and 27 yards on those four fumble recoveries despite having possession inside the Rams 10 on the last three.
“Our defense played really good,” Lafayette High coach Jay Domengeaux said. “I’m proud of our effort both on offense and defense, but sometimes deserving has nothing to do with it. (Acadiana) executed when they needed it.”
The Rams (2-2, 1-0) were backed up by Artigue’s 46-yard punt to their own 25 with 3:55 left, and Soloman was stopped for a 3-yard loss and AHS quarterback Peyton Touchet was sacked for five more lost yards to set up a third-and-18.
On the next play, though, Touchet tossed a quick slant pass to Bralen Trahan, who promptly pitched it back to Soloman near the sideline in front of the Acadiana bench. Soloman, who had scored the Rams’ other touchdown on a 29-yard second-quarter run, had clear sailing down the sideline the final 80 yards of the 83-yard play.
“I was just hoping it was going to work,” Soloman said of the play call. “It was just one of those plays you pull out when you need it. Our guys had their heads down before that, so it feels awesome to be able to do that after the last two weeks.”
The eighth-ranked Rams, who lost to highly-regarded Shades Valley, Alabama, and Rummel the last two weeks, had a solid defensive effort of their own. Lafayette High had only one first down in the second half and none in the final 22 minutes to go with the three red-zone stops, one of them on Kevin Moore’s end-zone interception with 9:48 left that kept it a 7-6 game.
“We put our defense in some really bad spots, and they battled,” Davidson said. “Holding them to two field goals turned out to be huge.”
Lafayette High scored on its second possession, with Tre Celestine’s 27-yard pass to Keshawn Young setting up Trevin Kelly’s one-yard fourth-down run.
However, Artigue’s extra point was blocked, and that let Acadiana take the lead midway through the second quarter on Soloman’s run and Brodie Fontenot’s extra point.
Soloman’s first score ended a 70-yard march and was only the fourth touchdown allowed by LHS this year. Acadiana also had a 66-yard march in the third quarter that ended in a fumble — the first of four in six plays by the Rams.