Rebounding from its first loss of the season a week ago to top-ranked Archbishop Rummel, Catholic High of Baton Rouge was too much for Salmen in a 42-14 win Friday night in Slidell.
After stopping Salmen’s 34-yard field goal attempt on its opening possession, Catholic High (4-1) got on the scoreboard two plays later when Derrius Guice scored on a 69-yard touchdown run.
The senior LSU commitment finished with 111 yards and a pair of touchdowns on seven carries.
The Bears struck for another big play on their next possession when Ian Brian connected with Clyde Edwards-Helaire for a 54-yard touchdown that made it 14-0.
“It was important for us to jump out on top of them from the beginning,” Edwards-Helaire said. “I have to give all the credit to the guys up front for opening the holes for the running backs. The coaches made the right calls, and we made the right moves when he needed to.”
John Connolly got the Catholic High defense involved in the second quarter, picking off a Jeff Passaro pass and returning it 90 yards to the Salmen 5-yard line. Guice scored on the next play to extend the lead to 21-0.
With his team up 28-0 coming out of halftime, Travell Johnson intercepted Passaro’s first pass of the second half and returned it 44 yards. Guice scored on the next play, this time a 14-yard touchdown reception from Brian to make it 35-0.
Catholic coach Dale Weiner said he was happy to see his team bounce back from the loss a week ago.
“I was impressed with my team all week long,” he said. “We moved forward from that first day of practice. Sometimes it can be a gut-wrenching experience when you lose a tough game like we did a week ago, but to our team’s credit, they are smart enough to realize that we learned we could play with any team we line up against.”
Salmen put up 14 points late in the fourth quarter on a 39-yard interception return for a touchdown by Doug Marquez. Wallace Duplessis added an 8-yard touchdown run to finish the scoring.
Wrapping up their predistrict schedule, the Bears head into 5-5A play next week against St. Amant. Salmen (0-5) opens its District 8-4A schedule in Mandeville against Lakeshore.
“We know heading into district play the stakes are a little higher now,” Weiner said. “We take district play seriously, and we know St. Amant is outstanding. They have gotten hot and are playing some great football. It is bound to be a whale of a game next week.”
With his team still winless on the season, Spartans coach Jerry Leonard said he did learn some things about his squad.
“We went against a very talented football team tonight,” he said. “We knew we had to get better at something tonight and improve as a football team.
“We came out with the right attitude, and I honestly believe we improved in some things.”