No team in District 6-5A is going to hand the title to Mandeville, but the Skippers were more than ready to stake their claim with a 35-0 victory at Fontainebleau in the league opener for both teams.
The Skippers defense turned in a stellar performance with two defensive scores in addition to forcing five turnovers. Defensive back Merrick Nicholas had a fumble recovery and an interception, both for touchdowns.
“The coaches had a very solid game plan, and we were able to put pressure on their backfield for most of the game,” Nicholas said. “Our defensive front was very aggressive, creating opportunities for us to make more plays.”
Mandeville (3-1, 1-0) hosts Ponchatoula (4-0, 1-0) next week while Fontainebleau (2-2, 0-1) travels to Northshore (1-3, 0-1).
It was the beginning that Mandeville coach Guy Lecompte wanted: a defensive stop followed by a scoring drive on the first offensive possession. After forcing the Bulldogs to go three and out, Mandeville quarterback Cody Orgeron engineered an 11-play, 55-yard scoring drive, capped off by a 12-yard pass to running back Fritz Walker. A Joseph Bullovas extra point put Mandeville in front 7-0 two minutes in the game.
And then the turnovers came, starting with a pass behind the line by Fontainebleau quarterback Mason Blocker that hit the ground and got scooped up by Nicholas and returned 38 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.
“We always put a lot of stake in our defense,” Mandeville coach Guy Lecompte said. “I was proud of the way we played. I was a little disappointed in our offense, since we had two touchdowns called back, one on just not a very smart penalty. We’ve got to clean some things up.”
One of the scores called back was a 48-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter from quarterback Cody Orgeron to Parker Orgeron in which Parker Orgeron hurdled a defender near the 10-yard line on the way to the end zone.
Hunter Lockhart caught a 28-yard pass from Orgeron with under five minutes left in the second quarter, sending Mandeville into the locker room with a 21-0 halftime lead.
Fontainebleau had a chance early to keep the game close after allowing Mandeville its first score and then driving all the way down inside the red zone to the Skippers’ 17. However, Drake Graham came up with an interception in the end zone, killing the best opportunity of the night for Bulldogs points.
Mandeville defensive back Evan Guillory was another thorn in the side of Blocker, getting one of three interceptions in the third quarter to spoil another drive.
“The defensive line was really huge in this game, and they helped me make plays,” Guillory said. “We knew we were going to come after them.”
Mandeville limited Fontainebleau to 42 yards rushing and a total of five first downs.
The level of defensive pressure was also reflected in the fact that the Skippers forced Blocker into seven straight incompletions toward the end of the first half.