Chalmette, Owls running back Masen Mitchell rush past Helen Cox _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Chalmette's Michaud Blaise runs for a first down as he is pursued by Helen Cox linebacker Bailey Blake on Saturday at Hoss Memtsas Stadium in Harvey.

Whether their focus was their place in the District 8-5A championship race or simply to beat Saturday’s rain, the Chalmette Owls came to Hoss Memtsas Stadium ready to roll.

With the game starting at 11:30 a.m. because of weather concerns, the Owls racked up three first-quarter touchdowns on their way to a 42-3 win over Helen Cox.

“All throughout the week, it was preached to us that we were going to get here early, and that we needed to be focused,” said running back Masen Mitchell, who gained 192 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries. “We had a curfew on Halloween night, and we all followed it.”

Chalmette (6-3, 5-1) remained in a three-way first-place tie with Ehret and Landry-Walker in the district with the regular-season finale for each this week. The Owls end the season Thursday against Higgins (3-6, 3-3), which still harbors hopes for a playoff berth.

The Owls, behind Mitchell’s 138 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 239 yards and four scores in taking a 28-3 halftime lead. Running back Mikael Blaise, playing in a wildcat quarterback role, scored Chalmette’s other touchdown on a 34-yard counter play with 1:45 left in the first quarter, giving the Owls a 21-0 lead.

Mitchell had scored on runs of 21 and 7 yards in the quarter and scored his third on a 2-yard run at the second-quarter buzzer.

“That first fumble kind of got us pumped up,” said Mitchell, who also scored on a 19-yard run midway of the third quarter. “But we always come out and try to punch people in the mouth. We run the ball very well. And, that’s the thing, when other teams have turnovers, we capitalize on them, and that gives us a lot of momentum.”

Chalmette finished with 379 yards rushing and 408 total.

The loss was the third in a row for Cox (3-6, 1-5) which has an unenviable season finale against Ehret on Friday. The Cougars were held to 33 yards in the first half and finished with 85. Their only points came on a 42-yard field goal by Dwight Dorsey with 11:38 left in the second quarter.

The Cougars finished with nine first downs but four were by penalties.

“Our kids just didn’t come to play today,” Cox coach Willie Brooks said. “Onside kick to start the game, we get a short field. Then, we fumbled on the first play of the game. Not taking anything from (Chalmette), but it was like we had a hangover.

“It looked like moving the time affected us. We don’t have a lot of seniors.”

After the game, the Owls gave coach Jason Tucker a Gatorade bath. The expression on his face showed it was premature.

“Our kids think we’ve done something,” he said. “They think we’ve clinched a playoff berth. I don’t want just a playoff berth; I want a district championship. We haven’t had one since 2004.

“I want this team to be able to come back to Chalmette and look up and point to the banner and say, ‘We did that.’ ”