Christian Life Academy scored 29 unanswered points over the final three quarters against a depleted Southern Lab team to come away with a comfortable 36-6 win at Crusader Stadium on Friday night.
Jerrell Richardson rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries to lead CLA (6-2, 3-0 in District 7-1A), and Trey Fisher threw for one touchdown while passing for 153 yards.
“I’m excited to get the win,” Crusaders coach Keith Dooley said. “We made lots of mistakes mentally, but we made some adjustments at halftime and got those fixed.”
Southern Lab (6-2, 2-1 in 7-1A) lost leading rusher Maurice Aucoin early in the game and had to turn to little-used bruiser Jarrot Thomas, who finished with 60 yards and one touchdown on 19 carries.
“We didn’t execute when we needed to,” Kittens coach Nick Mitchell said. “We missed tackles and had too many dropped footballs. Against a team like that, you can’t give them the football in good field position.”
Richardson was all CLA needed on its opening drive, rushing twice for 30 yards, the final tote an 11-yard sprint up the middle into the end zone.
A shanked punt by Dameion Lee put the Kittens deep in Christian Life territory, and Southern Lab used Thomas to eat up both clock and yards as they marched toward the Crusaders’ end zone.
Thomas put the Kittens on the scoreboard in the closing seconds of the first quarter when he finished the drive with a 1-yard TD run.
Richardson returned the ensuing kickoff to Southern Lab’s 23-yard line. The Crusaders drove to the 2, but while lining up to go for it on fourth-and goal, they committed a false start penalty. Lee then kicked a 25-yard field goal to put the Crusaders up 10-6.
Deonte Shorts led Southern Lab on a long drive late in the first half, hitting a number of big passes along the way.
The Kittens made it to the CLA 19, but with 9 seconds left on the clock, Shorts was intercepted by Frank Bartley at the 1.
Richardson stretched CLA’s lead to 17-6 midway through the third quarter on a 41-yard touchdown run. Richardson rushed to the right, found a small crease to his left, cut back and sprinted away from the defense for his second touchdown of the game.
Christian Life had a first down at Southern Lab’s 3 following a 30-yard pass from Fisher to Frank Bartley, but the Crusaders were unable to punch it in and again had to settle for 3 points on the boot of Lee.
The Kittens lost a fumble, and CLA took over again at the 18-yard line. The Crusaders put the game out of reach on the next play when Fisher lofted a pass into the air that Timothy Eackles hauled in for a touchdown.
CLA blocked a punt through the back of the end zone for a safety and added a touchdown on a 10-yard run by Haleem Broussard to close the scoring.