Five games separated Bonnabel’s signature win of 2014 and its next victory.
Coach Reggie Rogers didn’t plan to wait so long between celebrations, yet it proved to be unavoidable.
At least the waiting is over.
On Friday night, the Bruins transformed two botched Higgins punts into easy scoring drives in the first half and on defense, forcing four turnovers en route to a 31-7 District 8-5A win at Joseph S. Yenni Stadium.
“Tonight, we played all three phases of football, which was big,” said Rogers, whose Bruins travel to Chalmette next week. “We scored when we had to, and I think we controlled the game, for the most part.”
Bonnabel improved to 2-6 overall and 2-1 in district, snapping a four-game skid. The Bruins’ previous win was a 21-14 Week 3 upset of East Jefferson, the defending Class 4A champion. Higgins dropped to 2-6 and 1-2.
Maurice Britton and Jarred Ambrose combined for 240 rushing yards for Bonnabel, leading its run-first offense. On defense, the Bruins contained Higgins’ offense, led by quarterback Daniel White.
Often, Higgins stopped itself.
“You give yourself absolutely no chance to do anything when you put the ball on the field the way we did,” Higgins coach Craig Laborde said. “I felt like we laid down tonight.”
Higgins’ problems started on the first possession.
Bonnabel linebacker Evonte Williams blocked a punt, giving his offense the ball at the Higgins 5. Four plays later, Semaj Franklin scored from a yard out on fourth down.
“On the block, nobody blocked me,” said Williams, who also had two sacks. “I just got through.”
Later in the first quarter, Terrell Henry hit punter Bryan Martinez on fourth down, with Bonnabel taking over at the Higgins 15. Four plays later, Maurice Britton’s 1-yard run gave the Bruins a 14-0 lead.
Bonnabel wasn’t finished taking advantage of Higgins miscues.
Higgins’ first play on its next drive ended with the first of three lost fumbles. Like the previous two occasions, Bonnabel turned a turnover into a touchdown, this time with Jarred Ambrose scoring on an 8-yard run.
“I’d say thanks to our defense and special teams; they helped us out a lot and came up big when it was time to come up big,” Britton said. “All those (Higgins) fumbles helped us out a lot.”
Bonnabel led 21-0 at halftime and extended its lead with Luis Mejia’s 37-yard field goal with 8:25 left in the third quarter.
Higgins did not score until White completed a 31-yard TD reception to Melvin Frazier with 4:10 left.
Next time, Rogers doesn’t want to wait more than one more between victories.
“The goal is to put a program together that we can all be proud of,” Rogers said. “When people step into our program, they know what they’re stepping into. We want to be full of pride and tradition, like a lot of schools around the state.”
White finished with 187 passing yards. Jorrell Hawkins rushed for 52 yards.
Next Friday, Higgins plays Ehret.