LAFAYETTE — Friday night at Northside High School was the Malik Eugene show.
From the opening kickoff of Acadiana High’s game against Northside — a 76-yard Eugene touchdown return — to the end of the second half — a 56-yard Eugene touchdown run — the Acadiana running back was unstoppable. The Rams rode their running game to the tune of more than 300 yards and a 55-6 win.
“For a first ballgame, we played well,” Acadiana head coach Ted Davidson said. “We were pretty focused and we didn’t have any real glitches. You’re usually still working on personnel issues that first week, but we played well tonight.”
Eugene’s 113 yards on seven carries netted him three rushing touchdowns. Davidson said Eugene gives the running game an explosive dimension and said his stable of running backs is going to be just fine.
“We thought (Eugene) would have a chance to open it up if he could get in the open field,” Davidson said. “(Northside) presses a little hard and once he gets out there, he has great vision. He accelerates and moves sideways at the same time which is a special trait for a back.
“Malik gives us a speed; Eric (Duhon) gives us power and Chris Sam and Reggie (Francis) are helping us out. I think (the running game) is coming around and we are going to develop some depth.”
Northside struggled to get anything going, aside from quarterback Ethan Rose’s 90-yard touchdown run on the Vikings’ opening drive.
Aside from Rose’s big run, the Rams held Northside to 132 yards of total offense. Davdison credited the Rams’ scout team with helping simulate Rose’s speed.
“We saw the speed in practice this week and we had some guys that were working us pretty good on the edge,” Davidson said. “They gave us a good picture of the speed on the edge that we were gonna see. That is something that you’re not used to when you see it with Ethan. He burned us on that first one, but we adjusted.”
The Rams also got a surprise contribution from the passing game. Quarterback Peyton Touchet completed two passes Friday night, both touchdowns. One, a 35-yard pass to Bry’Keithon Mouton and the other, a 52-yard strike to Brandon Duhon.
“I was proud of the passing game,” Davidson said. “Brandon works really hard in practice. He starts for the baseball team. He’s an athlete with game experience and he has a lot of savvy. Peyton threw a perfect ball to him and he made a great play.”
Davidson said he didn’t think it would be too hard for his team to put such a dominant performance behind them. Acadiana has two big games coming up against Shades Valley High School from Birmingham, Alabama and Archbishop Rummel. He said focus shouldn’t be an issue.
“We’ll watch film on the team that we play next week,” Davidson said. “That is a very good football team and they’re already 3-0. If that doesn’t get our attention, the following week is Rummel. They better be attentive and see what is going on.”