PLAQUEMINE — Every time Plaquemine finds its way to the end zone, the boom from a small cannon can be heard throughout its home field.
That cannon fired early and often Friday night in the Green Devils’ District 6-4A opener, a 41-14 win over St. Michael.
Plaquemine accumulated 232 yards on the ground before halftime and capitalized on two-first half turnovers.
All told, Plaquemine (3-3, 1-0) racked up 304 rushing yards. Four Green Devils scored touchdowns — including junior running back Kevin Domingue, who had 93 yards and a team-leading three TDs.
Sophomore running back Wayne Toussant led all Plaquemine ball carriers, running for 99 yards and a touchdown.
All of those rushing yards weren’t counterbalanced with much of an aerial attack; the Green Devils completed just 1 of 9 passes. But senior quarterback Austin Mitchell didn’t play in the second half as Plaquemine nursed a 34-point lead.
“We’re a run-first-type team,” coach Paul Distefano said. “We didn’t execute the passing game very well tonight. That was a little disappointing. ... We’ve just got to keep on working and try to improve on our mistakes for next week.”
Aided by solid return on the opening kickoff to the St. Michael 38-yard line, Plaquemine jumped to an early lead. On the fifth play from scrimmage, Domingue took a handoff up the middle for a 12-yard touchdown.
Though the following two-point conversion attempt failed, it hardly mattered. The Green Devils scored on four of their next six first-half possessions while limiting the Warriors (1-5, 0-1) to 86 yards of offense in the half.
“Our defense has continued to get better throughout the year,” Distefano said. “We only had one senior starting on defense — No. 14, Brian Jordan. The competition we faced early in the year exposed a lot of our weaknesses. But our defense each week has gotten better and better.”
St. Michael’s best chance for points came after Mitchell was intercepted on Plaquemine’s second possession. The Warriors were able to push the ball just outside the Green Devils red zone, but St. Michael failed to convert fourth-and-5 from the Plaquemine 23-yard line.
“One of the challenges we’ve had the last few weeks is we’re one or two things from making something happen,” St. Michael coach Paul Varnado said. “And we’re one or two missed assignments from us moving the ball. If we made this catch, if we made this one block to spring this runner, some things like that. ... We’re just not putting it all together and getting it done like we need to.”
With mostly backups in on both sides and both teams’ starting quarterbacks on the sideline, St. Michael added two second-half touchdowns, including a 15-yard pass from backup quarterback Dwain Varisco.
But the five-score lead in the first half was too much for St. Michael to overcome.
“We’re a young team, and we’ve been fighting youth and inexperience,” Varnado said. “That’s kind one of the things we knew coming in that was something we had to overcome.”