Through three drives against Comeaux, Acadiana looked very much like the team that slogged its way to a 2-3 start.
The Wreckin’ Rams went three-and-out to start things out. Then the Rams were stopped for a 5-yard loss on fourth-and-1 after they fumbled an option pitch. After starting quarterback Peyton Touchet threw a pick to end the third drive, coach Ted Davidson made a change.
Maybe the spark they’ve needed all along was a wiry sophomore named Myles Hutchinson. The Rams (3-3, 2-1) scored all four of their touchdowns with Hutchinson directing the offense, more than enough with a defense pitching a shutout in Acadiana’s 28-0 district win over Comeaux (2-4, 0-3) on Friday.
After gaining just 17 yards on the first three drives, the Rams rumbled 76 yards in 11 plays in their first drive with Hutchinson at quarterback, ending in a 7-yard touchdown by Chris Sam.
The Rams ran for 267 yards on 43 attempts, paced by junior tailback Malik Eugene’s 94 yards on seven carries, an output Davidson said his team needed badly.
Hutchinson didn’t have a flawless game. He threw an interception and fumbled three times, and two of those fumbles looked like they might come back to haunt the Rams.
One fumble was recovered deep in Rams territory to give the Spartans their only real shot of scoring in the game. Another fumble turned what would’ve likely been a third-and-short into a third-and-long.
But his teammates bailed him out both times.
The Rams defense played lights out against the Spartans, limiting them to just 75 total yards. They didn’t allow a Comeaux first down until midway through the second quarter, and the Spartans ran just 11 plays inside Rams territory
But the Spartans had a golden opportunity when they took over inside the Acadiana 20-yard line early in the third quarter. They’d been outplayed all game, but looked like they might have a chance to make it a one-score contest.
The Rams defense held, though. After allowing the Spartans to pick up just a yard on the first three plays of the drive, junior defensive back Jayrin Wilson intercepted a Tanarius Achan throw on fourth-and-9 to give the Rams the ball back.
“The defense has done a great job doing that,” Davidson said. “We put them in a bad spot, and they don’t hang their head and feel sorry for themselves. They take a lot of pride being able to get the stop.”
Another Hutchinson fumble turned a second-and-8 into a third-and-20. But the Rams just turned around and handed it to running back Malik Eugene, who knifed through the Comeaux defense, darting 68 yards for a touchdown to give the Rams a 21-0 lead.
“That kind of put the finishing touches on it,” Davidson said. “… We were kind of going the wrong way at the time. We were running a kind of safe play that might catch them backed off, and I think it did. Once he gets in the secondary, he can go.”
Hutchinson tossed a 6-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to Bry’Keithan Mouton, an LSU commit, to provide the final score.
Despite the inspired performance, Davidson isn’t ready to name Hutchinson the starter at quarterback. He said Touchet handled the news well and volunteered to enter the game as a blocker.
“It’ll be a game-time decision next week,” Davidson said.