In his first year, Guy Mistretta came through on his promise to the Livonia High School family.
A year after they fell in the state championship game, 2014 was a different story for the Wildcats: They stormed past Amite 43-14 to capture the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Class 3A state championship Saturday afternoon.
“I’m just really proud of these guys,” Mistretta said. “When we got this thing started just nine months ago, we asked them to trust us. I believe, because of that trust, we had the end result, especially these last four weeks of the season. We came together as a true team, and in football you have to have trust more than pretty much any other sport.
“I couldn’t be happier for this community. They gave us everything we needed and supported us throughout the year. I know there are a lot of happy people, especially after coming so close last year.”
In scouting the first 11-man football state championship in school history, Livonia (14-0) took an early 7-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Cee Jay Powell.
Trailing 8-7 after a touchdown by Amite (12-3), Powell connected with Kendrick Paul for his first of two touchdown passes to the sophomore wideout, this one from 9 yards to make it 15-8 and give Livonia the lead for good.
On the Wildcats’ next possession, Powell hit Stephen Guidry for a 4-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 21-8. Powell connected with Paul on the first possession of the second half for a 4-yard score to stretch the lead to 29-8.
Named Most Outstanding Player of the game for the Wildcats, Powell finished with 90 yards and three touchdowns on 9-of-16 passing. He also had 103 yards and another score on 16 carries.
Livonia senior running back Malcolm Dedrick added 186 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.
“We overloaded one side of the line of scrimmage all game long, and (Amite) had trouble adjusting to it,” Mistretta said. “I think we could have stayed in that formation all game long. Throughout the playoffs, we had games that went deep into the fourth quarter, and most of the time down to the final series. Our offensive line pounded on those guys, and Malcolm was able to grind it for yards when we needed him.”
Amite’s lone score of the first half came early in the first quarter, a 53-yard touchdown run by Kenner Harrell.
“We just had way too many missed opportunities,” Amite coach Alden Foster said. “Give credit to Livonia. They are an outstanding football team. We didn’t tackle well and really felt out of balance for most of the game. When we had the chance to make plays, we were not able to do that. Just a frustrating game.”
Note: Amite senior Tyrell Frazier left the game on a stretcher in the first half with an injury. Foster said he broke his ankle in two places and is scheduled for surgery.