An explosive first half would be all Scotlandville would need in a 27-15 victory against Thibodaux in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs on Friday night.
One thing was for certain early: Scotlandville was more than prepared to defend its home turf.
The Hornets, led by sophomore southpaw quarterback Levi Lewis, began their opening possession on their own 32-yard line and never looked back.
Lewis was perfect on his first drive of the night, completing all of his first four pass attempts for 33 yards. With 7:15 remaining in the first quarter, the Hornets struck first, handing the ball to running back Malik Wells, who broke a tackle and proceeded to sprint 35 yards to put the home squad ahead 6-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Scotlandville had no intention of giving the ball to Thibodaux.
A short kickoff led to a scramble for the football, and the Hornets recovered for their first crucial momentum swing of the contest.
Lewis continued his barrage of completions, hitting wide receiver Justin Russell twice for 23 total yards. With 6:12 remaining in the first frame, Scotlandville scored for a second time as Lewis found daylight around the left side of his offensive line for a 5-yard rushing touchdown.
“Tonight, (Lewis) couldn’t do anything wrong,” said Scotlandville coach Ryan Robb. “He was our little (former NFL quarterback) Steve McNair out there making those throws.”
And just when it appeared as though the Tigers would maintain a drive of their own, the Hornets stung for a third time.
Thibodaux senior quarterback Peyton Bonvillain threw a deep pass into double coverage, where two Scotlandville defensive backs waited to bring in the interception. Scotlandville took over at its own 30-yard line, looking to put the Tigers away before halftime.
For a third consecutive drive, Lewis was a catalyst for the Hornets offense, driving the length of the field before completing a 16-yard strike to Russell for a score.
Tigers senior running back Jayquan Chenier found the end zone on a 1-yard run to put the visiting team on the scoreboard, but Scotlandville led 21-6 heading into halftime.
Scotlandville didn’t let its foot off the pedal in the second half.
Lewis came out throwing on the Hornets’ first possession of the third quarter, connecting with a receiver on a 35-yard strike and setting his offense up inside the Tigers’ red zone.
One play later, senior running back Joshua Williams found a hole opened by his offensive line and sprinted into the end zone untouched to put Scotlandville ahead 27-9.
Though Chenier would find the end zone for a second time on the final play of the third quarter, it would be all the Tigers could muster in a losing effort.
“We just got behind the eight ball early, and we just couldn’t recover,” said Thibodaux coach Chris Dugas. “We couldn’t get our feet under us. We battled hard in the second half, and we made it interesting, but we couldn’t quite get to where we wanted to get to.”