PLAQUEMINE - Washington-Marion came in with a simple strategy on Friday.
Run with quarterback Melvin Jones. Then do it again and again.
Behind Jones’ legs, the No. 19 seed Indians upended No. 14 seed Plaquemine 35-8 in a Class 4A first-round playoff game.
For much of the first half, the Indians lined up in a shotgun formation, only to have Jones run quarterback draws the majority of the time.
The Green Devils couldn’t stop it.
Jones ran for 125 yards on 21 carries and two scores. Washington-Marion racked up 273 yards on the ground on 39 carries. Osha Jackson added 107 rushing yards to boost the potent Indians rushing attack.
Washington-Marion (8-3) moves on to the second round to play No. 3 seed Lutcher. Plaquemine saw its season end at 6-5.
Neither coach was available for comment after the game.
The Washington-Marion attack began early.
The Indians scooped up a Green Devils fumble on the first drive of the game, setting up a first down on the Plaquemine 41-yard line.
Five plays later, Jones rambled into the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown. Ronnie Hendrix’s point-after kick gave Washington-Marion a 7-0 lead six minutes into the first quarter.
The Green Devils saw a glimmer of hope on the next drive after running back Myron Jack busted a 30-yard gain to give Plaquemine a first down at the Indians 33. The Green Devils would give it over on downs five plays later at the Washington-Marion 23.
The Indians took advantage, putting together a 13-play, 77-yard drive that took 7:43 off the clock. The effort was culminated in John Ellis’ 12-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 13-0.
Jackson took the baton next, scoring 40 yards out after lining up at quarterback. Jones barreled into the end zone for the two-point conversion to balloon the lead to 21-0.
Plaquemine had a chance on its next drive, but, as was the trend in the first half, they botched the opportunity. Fullback Julius Maracalin took a handoff up the middle, glided past defenders and found the edge to sprint into the end zone for a 40-yard touchdown, only to see it called back because of a holding penalty.
The second half started off as bad as possible for the Green Devils. The Indians took the opening kick and drove 54 yards in seven plays, scoring on Jones’ 3-yard run. Hendrix’s kick put the lead at 28-0.
Plaquemine’s only shot at making the game close came near to the end of the third quarter. Green Devils quarterback Ricky Aro put Plaquemine on the board with a 24-yard touchdown strike to receiver Hakeem Deggs. The pass went straight through an Indian defender’s hands before Deggs snagged it and leapt into the end zone.
Aro pushed his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion to make the score 28-8 with 5:19 remaining in the third quarter.
The Green Devils then recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, setting them up with prime field position.
Two plays later, Julius Marcalin fumbled, and the ball was recovered by Ellis, who returned the ball to the Plaquemine 33.
The Green Devils fumbled five times in the game, losing three of them.
A few plays later, Jones tossed the ball to Ellis on a reverse, who in turn found a streaking Jones for a 29-yard touchdown. Hendrix’s kick pushed the score to its final margin.