SHREVEPORT — University High’s Nick Brossette said what coach Chad Mahaffey would not: The Cubs had revenge on their minds Friday night.
After all, Calvary had knocked the Cubs out of last year’s playoffs in a Class 2A quarterfinal at Jerry Barker Stadium.
Thanks to two long Brossette touchdown runs, the Cubs were able to gain a measure of revenge, topping sixth-seeded Calvary, 19-7, on Friday night.
“This was a revenge game for us,” said Brossette, who finished with 181 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. “We came through. We had a lot of confidence and came through on it.”
The Cubs (12-1) could make a second straight trip to the northwest corner of the state for next week’s semifinals depending on the result of Saturday’s Evangel-Carver matchup in New Orleans. An Evangel win means the game will be played in Shreveport; a Carver win gives the Cubs a home game.
While Brossette picked his spots to deliver touchdown runs of 61 and 75 yards, defensive end Tim Williams and the University defensive line pressured Calvary quarterback Daniel Fitzwater throughout the night, sacking him eight times and keeping him from getting into a rhythm.
University started the night with a three-man rush and mixed in several blitzes to stymie the fast-paced Calvary attack.
“We thought we could get that much pressure because we’ve got a lot of speed on our D-line, and we use our speed to our advantage,” Williams said. “They’re tall and big, but they’re kind of slow, so we basically came in and used our speed.”
Brossette’s speed helped the Cubs build a 10-0 second-quarter lead when he broke free up the far sideline for a 61-yard touchdown run. It was his only big play of the first half; Calvary (9-4) held Brossette to a loss of 1 yard on his 12 other first-half touches.
It was a similar situation in the second half when Brossette delivered the dagger.
One play after a botched fourth-down snap cost Calvary possession at the University 25, Brossette broke through the middle and outraced the Cavaliers defense for a 75-yard touchdown run and a 19-7 lead.
“I had to,” Brossette said. “I just had to keep doing what I was doing, do what I was trained to do — keep plugging for my team. I knew it was going to bust.”
The Cubs’ defense, on the other hand, never broke.
Aside from Shun Brown’s remarkable effort on a field-crossing, 18-yard touchdown catch, the Cubs never let Calvary get anything going.
Immediately after Brossette’s second touchdown run, Calvary had its last best chance at scoring when Fitzwater hit a streaking Colin Stogner (11 catches for 180 yards) along the sideline. Stogner seemed to be on his way to a momentum-swinging touchdown before Jalon Baker ran him down and punched the ball free at the 10-yard line.
It rolled out of the back of the end zone, giving the Cubs possession and effectively ending the game.
“You get your chance to make plays and, if you make them, you keep playing,” Calvary coach John Bachman Sr. said. “If you don’t, then you’ve got a chance to go home. They made plays tonight — not a bunch of them, but enough — and we didn’t.”