Throughout a summer spent under the glare of an unrelenting sun, the refrain for Catholic High became familiar.
Start fast, finish strong.
Catholic put those words into action in its season opener, jumping out to a 17-0 first-quarter lead, building a 38-12 halftime cushion and extending that to 55-18 after three quarters en route to a 55-25 road win Friday over Parkview Baptist.
“That’s all we talked about this summer,” Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “We wanted to train that way and perform that way, and I felt we did that.”
The result of Catholic’s 30-point victory helped the Bears (1-0) make the biggest jump in this week’s Class 5A Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s rankings.
Catholic moved up four spots to No. 6, a move also hastened by an opening-game loss of West Monroe (0-1), which sent the Rebels from No. 4 to No. 8.
Central (1-0), Zachary (0-1) and Scotlandville (1-0) all received votes.
LSU running back commitment Derrius Guice typified his team’s fast start, accounting for 204 yards and four touchdowns — three of which came in the first half.
Defensive back Trevell Johnson added an 80-yard interception return on the final play of the first half, while junior quarterback Ian Brian — one of 14 players getting their first varsity start — passed for 169 yards with touchdowns to wide out Landon Flowers and Guice.
“It’s really a complement to our guys, and we always appreciate that,” Weiner said of the ranking. “But your goals never have to change, and that’s the goal of winning a district title or winning a state championship whether you lose a game or drop in the polls.”
Plaquemine (1-0) opened with an impressive 49-23 win over East Ascension and wound up swapping places in the Class 4A poll at No. 9 with No. 10 Rayne (1-0).
University High (1-0) remained second to John Curtis (1-0) in Class 3A, twice rallying from a pair of two-touchdown deficits for a 36-35 win over Class 4A Teurlings Catholic in Lafayette.
The Cubs, who lost quarterback Manny Miles along the way, relied on reserve quarterback Jalon Baker to lead the comeback. Dylan Moses capped the rally with a 3-yard run and Nicholas Brossette added a two-point run with 28 seconds to play.
Parkview’s loss dropped the Eagles (0-1) from seventh to ninth and Amite (1-0), which defeated St. Helena Central 32-0, moved in at No. 8 after former No. 8 Kaplan (0-1) and No. 10 North Webster (0-1) both lost.
Livonia’s just on the cusp of the poll, trailing District 5-3A counterpart, No. 10 Church Point, by three votes.
District 6-2A foes, Episcopal (1-0) and East Feliciana (0-1), received votes in Class 2A.
On the strength of its 50-28 win over Class 4A Morgan City, White Castle (1-0) cracked the this week’s Class 1A poll at No. 9, while Southern Lab (0-1) dropped four spots to No. 7 after its 31-12 road loss at Class 3A’s No. 4 team — St. Charles Catholic.
Madison Prep (1-0) and Ascension Catholic (1-0) also picked up votes.