A storm blew into Hoss Memtsas Stadium for Thomas Jefferson’s game Saturday afternoon, and not the heavy downpour of rain that drenched the area.
The South Plaquemines Hurricanes, with a stable of quick, strong runners and a stifling defense, overwhelmed the Jaguars 24-0 in a District 8-2A game.
“They were just better than us,” said Jefferson coach Kevin Kelly after his team was held to 76 yards total offense and five first downs. “We couldn’t move the ball, and our defense hung in there as best they could.”
The victory sends South Plaquemines (5-4, 3-0) into a showdoen Haynes for the district title, which would be the Hurricanes’ first in 9-2A if they win.
South Plaquemines, led by 6-foot-3, 265-pound Jonathan Wilson, effectively used a defensive line that slanted, particularly to the wingback side, in shutting down the Jaguars’ running game.
Thomas Jefferson (4-5, 1-2) rushed for 60 yards, including 7 in the second half, and the Jaguars’ top running back, Donte Sincere, was held to 49 yards on 13 carries.
“The defense stopped the run, and they knew this would be the key to this game,” Hurricanes coach Stephen Wein said. “We knew they had a couple of different ways to get their runs in. (Sincere) is one, and they try to get a couple of quarterback runs as well.”
On offense, South Plaquemines piled up 407 yards, including 243 rushing behind quarterback Wade Barthelemy (53 yards, two touchdowns) and running backs Tyler Martin (91yards), Kendrick Smith (53, one touchdown) and Micah Ancar (51).
The Hurricanes took the opening kickoff and marched 66 yards in 10 plays to Smith’s 1-yard scoring plunge. Barthelemy, who on fourth-and-8 completed a 32-yard pass to Eli Bourgeois to the 1, ran for the two-point conversion.
Barthelemy capped an 80-yard drive at 8:52 of the second quarter with a 4-yard touchdown run and ran for the conversion for a 16-0 lead. Smith completed a 52-yard halfback pass on the drive.
“We minimized our mistakes, which has been a key all season,” Wein said. “Barthelemy makes us go, and we made some big plays. The kids really played their tails off.”
That came after Jefferson blew a huge opportunity. With two minutes left in the first quarter, South Plaquemines tried to convert on fourth-and-3 from its 42. The ball was snapped over Barthelemy’s head and knocked back to the 20, where the Jaguars took over. However, after the Jaguars drove to the 5, kicker Albert Bongard missed a 22-yard field-goal attempt.
After Barthlemy’s touchdown run, the Jaguars drove 50 yards to the Hurricanes’ 25. On fourth-and-11, Marlon Wilkins’ pass to Tyler Butler fell incomplete in the end zone at 2:07 before halftime.
The rain came quickly midway of the fourth quarter. South Plaquemine had both of its lost fumbles during a one-minute span after that. However, a minute after the second fumble, Barthelemy ended any doubt with a 19-yard run up the middle with 2:57 left.