It’s been nearly two months since Warren Easton and Belle Chasse last met in their District 9-4A clash, yet Friday’s postseason tilt yielded an all-too-similar result.
No. 5 Easton cruised past No. 28 Belle Chasse 56-14 in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs at Joe Brown Memorial Park.
The Eagles (10-1) clicked on all cylinders, scoring touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in the type of performance coach Tony Hull deemed critical to his team’s playoff success.
“We want to compete in all three phases,” Hull said. “If we can compete in all three phases and win the turnover battle, it gives us a shot to win.”
Easton entered the game with a chip on its shoulder, and it was apparent from the opening kickoff.
Damien Tate returned the first-half kickoff 77 yards to take the wind out of Belle Chasse’s sails and swing momentum into Easton’s corner for the remaining 48 minutes.
“They didn’t respect us, so we wanted to prove a point,” Easton junior Markel Roby said. “We wanted to prove a point and show them why they need to respect us and that we’re a power in this district.”
“You try to jump out on teams that have their back against the wall,” Hull said. “You try to take away any hope that can carry over early in the game.”
Trailing 14-0, the Cardinals (5-6) opened the second quarter with their best offensive series of the game, which was capped by a 50-yard touchdown pass from Marcian Marshall to Trey Green.
Belle Chasse’s first dent in the scoreboard of the night lit a fire under the Eagles, who responded with five unanswered touchdowns to close out the half.
Three of those second-quarter scores were results of interceptions, including two by Roby, who had a 30-yard interception return. The other came via Charven Morris.
Easton finished with five interceptions in the game.
“We work together, talk and communicate with each other,” said Roby, who finished with three interceptions. “When you come together as a team like that, great things happen.”
The high-octane Easton offense churned out 340 yards of offense. Quarterback Tyriek Starks finished 12-of-16 for 276 yards and four touchdowns, and added 39 yards rushing and a fifth score.
Wideout Clyde Chriss finished the game with six receptions for a game-leading 135 yards and three touchdowns. Terrance Sylvester hauled in five passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Belle Chasse was limited to 236 yards of offense and turned the rock over six times, which put Stephen Meyers’ team in a position it couldn’t handle.
“We would’ve had to play a perfect to be in the game,” Meyers said. “They’re just too big, athletic, fast and a well-coached team.”
Next up for Easton is the winner of No. 12 Plaquemine and No. 21 Carver. Easton faced Plaquemine in the state semifinals in 2014 and also defeated Carver in district play earlier this season.