LIVE OAK — Hayden Mallory threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns Friday night, leading St. Amant to a 35-13 season-opening win at Live Oak.
A mechanical malfunction kept the scoreboard clock from working, but it was just as well for the home crowd. Live Oak trailed 32-0 at halftime and didn’t score until the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, St. Amant scored on five of its first six possessions.
“Last week (in a jamboree loss to East Ascension), we were sloppy in the first half and played great in the second,” St. Amant coach David Oliver said. “Tonight, we were sharp in the first half and kind of tailed off when we started playing some young guys.”
Despite two dropped passes, Mallory completed 12 of his first 15 throws as St. Amant moved the ball at will in the first half. He finished 15 of 25 for 200 yards.
Mallory’s touchdown passes went for 10 yards to Jacob Cheatwood, 18 yards to Larson Fontenot and 20 yards to Briggs Bourgeois. Bourgeois also kicked two field goals, including a 51-yarder to close the first half.
Live Oak was led on the ground by Khalil Smith’s 21 yards. Quarterback Ryan Morris completed 13 of 31 passes for 138 yards with two interceptions.
“I’ll step back and wear this one. This one’s on me,” Live Oak coach Brett Beard said. “The last two Friday nights have been a little different coming out. We’ve started a little tight, and that’s on me. I’ve got to get them more comfortable.”
In the second half, Live Oak put together a 17-play, 88-yard drive for its first score, Smith’s 2-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter. The Eagles added a defensive touchdown minutes later when Cade Guillory scooped up a fumbled lateral and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown.
The Gators went 54 yards in nine plays for their opening score. Mallory ended the drive with completions of 11 and 10 yards to Cheatwood, the latter good for the TD.
Mallory’s pass to Landon Boudreaux made it 8-0.
On its next series, St. Amant used six plays to go 78 yards. Mark Darby took an inside handoff 44 yards for the score and a 15-0 lead.
In the second, Jerrick Beckwith’s 35-yard interception return for a touchdown was nullified by a personal foul call, but the Gators retained possession. Two plays later, Mallory connected with Larson from 18 yards out and a 22-0 lead.
On Live Oak’s next series, the Gators sacked Morris, one of their six sacks, and forced a punt. St. Amant took over at the LO 37, and scored in three plays, with Mallory’s 20-yard TD pass to Bourgeois pushing the lead to 29-0. Bourgeois’s 51-yard field goal on the last play of the first half gave the Gators a 32-0 lead.
“I was extremely proud of how we came out in the first half,” Oliver said. “Between the defense, offense and special teams it was a pretty thorough first half.”