DENHAM SPRINGS — Catholic High running back Derrius Guice rolled up more than 200 all-purpose yards for the third straight week as the Bears defeated Denham Springs 35-13 in a nondistrict tilt here Friday night.
The versatile senior ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 13 attempts. He also caught three passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bears to victory.
Coming off a big 48-0 win over Mandeville, Catholic struck hard on its first possession as Guice turned a simple screen pass from quarterback Ian Brian into a 23-yard touchdown.
The Bears (3-0) never looked back, commanding a 21-6 lead at the half and opening a 28-6 lead in the third quarter to keep Denham Springs (1-2) in check.
Brian engineered the Bears offense with precision, completing 11 of 19 passes for 196 yards, two TDs and no interceptions. He completed passes to seven different receivers.
But Catholic coach Dale Weiner still wasn’t completely satisfied with the win. The Bears lost 60 yards on eight penalties.
“You may not always bring your ‘A’ game or look as good as you’d like, but it’s good when you win,” he said. “You don’t want to have to take a loss to learn a valuable lesson. The penalties were huge tonight. We’ll have to analyze that and see what we’ve got to do to get better.”
Denham Springs coach Dru Nettles said he felt the key to victory was keeping the ball out of Guice’s hands and the Bear offense on the sidelines. The hosts gained 205 yards on 42 rushing attempts and junior quarterback Torez Kinchen added another 59 yards through the air, but it wasn’t enough.
Nettles put the ball into the hands of shifty freshman running back Tyre Golman, who ran for 146 yards in a 35-14 win over Salmen last week. Golman answered the call by picking up 136 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
“He made some nice runs and accelerated well,” Nettles said. “He’s just got to keep working hard and stay humble, and he’s got a bright future ahead. He’s got some good leaders on this team to show him the way.”
After Catholic High’s first TD, the Yellow Jacket defense kept the Bears out of the end zone for the rest of the first quarter and gained field position to start the second period. A high snap sailed over Brian’s head, resulting in a loss of 28 yards for the Bears.
But after taking over at Catholic’s 30-yard line, Denham was unable to capitalize on the error. Kinchen dropped back and attempted a pass to Kyandre Brooks, but Catholic’s junior defensive back Brian Herry intercepted at the 20-yard line.
Golman put Denham on the scoreboard when he found a crease off left tackle and scored from 12 yards out. A botched snap on the point-after attempt, however, preserved Catholic High’s lead at 7-6.
The Bears were undaunted, scoring touchdowns on their next two possessions. Brian connected with Guice on another screen pass and the running back charged 68 yards for the score.
A blocked punt by Tarick Johnson set up Catholic’s next touchdown. Sophomore running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire scored on an 8-yard run and Jack Gonsoulin’s conversion gave Catholic High a 21-6 halftime lead.
Guice struck again to open the fourth quarter, running 42 yards for a TD. The senior appeared to be stopped for a short gain but spun away from Denham’s defenders and broke free for the score.
Denham Springs will open District 4-5A play with a visit to Live Oak next Friday. Catholic High will host Rummel at Olympia Stadium.