It won’t be a typical Thanksgiving week for the Episcopal High School football program.
For the first time in nine years, a group of Knights will be getting ready for a quarterfinal playoff game after a 42-21 Class 2A regional victory over Loreauville on Friday night at Episcopal.
Episcopal (11-1) advances to face second-seeded Winnfield, a 41-0 victor against St. Thomas Aquinas.
Mike Henry rushed for 211 yards and three touchdowns for the Knights, who set a single-season school record for victories. Nick Julien led Loreauville (9-3) with 85 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Henry set the tone on the game’s first two plays. The Knights running back returned the opening kickoff 77 yards to the Loreauville 6. On the first play from scrimmage, Henry scored a touchdown as the Knights took a 7-0 lead 24 seconds into the game.
“We were fortunate to get (a big) opening kickoff (return), and that kind of set the tone,” Episcopal coach Travis Bourgeois said. “Mike is the backbone of our team. This kid’s been doing this for us for the last three years. He’s a senior captain. He means the world to us.”
Episcopal made it 14-0 on the next series. Henry broke free for a 54-yard touchdown run and Austin Couvillion added the extra point with 9:43 remaining in the first quarter.
The two teams twice traded touchdowns as Episcopal took a 28-14 lead into halftime.
Loreauville appeared to have momentum midway through the third quarter after recovering a muffed punt. But the play was wiped out with a personal foul penalty, and the Tigers were stung for two more 15-yarders on the ensuing play. Another Loreauville drive stalled late in the third quarter when Episcopal’s Nick Russell intercepted a pass in Knights territory.
“We got inside the 20 a couple of times, but we bogged down with a couple of penalties, and their defense stiffened up,” Loreauville coach Trent Delahoussaye said. “Nobody has stopped us like that all year. ? It was more them than it was us.”
EHS the game away in the fourth quarter. Vincent Dellocono threw a 37-yard TD pass to Jarrell Rogers, and Russell added EHS’ last score on a 13-yard TD run with 3:08 left.
Despite a slow start, Loreauville made things rough at times for Episcopal. Julien’s 1-yard TD run capped a 69-yard scoring drive that cut EHS’ lead to 14-7 with 3:29 to go in the first quarter.
Episcopal countered on the following series to take a 21-7 edge. Dellocono’s 3-yard quarterback keeper wrapped up a 69-yard drive with 1:53 to go in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Loreauville’s Raymond Bonette hit Charles Francois on a double pass for a 38-yard TD. Zachary Galatas added the extra point as Loreauville pulled within 21-14 with 9:18 left before halftime.
Episcopal answered with Dellocono’s 37-yard TD pass to Jarrell Rogers with 7:31 to play in the second quarter.