NEW IBERIA — Catholic-New Iberia chalked its name in the school record books on Friday night, cruising to a 42-0 victory over Delcambre (4-6, 2-3) and becoming the first Panthers team since 1969 to finish a regular season undefeated.
The victory also gives the Panthers their second-straight District 5-2A title.
“We have way bigger goals than going 10-0, but this is definitely something we can hang our hat on no matter what happens from here,” Catholic-New Iberia coach Brent Indest said. “In football, you rarely have a perfect game. But in a season in which you are judged by wins and losses, we did something perfectly tonight.”
Strong performances from senior quarterback Jason Pellerin and the Catholic defense propelled the Panthers to the victory.
In the Panthers’ opening drive, Pellerin rolled out to his right and connected with wide receiver Andre’ Bellefontaine from 22 yards out, giving Catholic a 7-0 lead.
Pellerin showcased his running abilities the rest of the night, collecting 107 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. The Ole Miss commitment averaged 15.3 yards per rush.
Early in the second quarter, Pellerin continued his success running the ball, shaking off two would-be tacklers on a 40-yard quarterback draw. The score gave Catholic a 21-0 first-half lead.
“When in doubt, we just turn (Pellerin) loose,” Indest said. “He is something special. I may not coach anyone close to him for the rest of my career.”
Catholic’s defensive front dominated the line of scrimmage the entire game, holding Delcambre to 109 yards.
“Our defense has set up our offense all year long,” Indest said. “We get so many more snaps than our opposition because of all of the three-and-outs our defense pitches.”
In the third quarter, Catholic increased its lead to 34-0 on a 3-yard run by running back Seth Pierre. The 3-yard carry gave Pierre 1,000 rushing yards for the season, joining Pellerin and Bellefontaine who also accomplished the same feat.
“A team that has one guy with gaudy stats is usually not a very good team overall,” Indest said. “We spread it out amongst those guys. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
With Friday’s victory, Catholic will remain near the top of the state rankings, giving the Panthers at least one off week when playoffs begin.
“The off week is important because we are banged up like every other team is,” Indest said. “We are going to take care of our guys and get healthy.”