CHURCH POINT - The celebratory pair of postgame ice water baths Church Point High football coach John Craig Arceneaux received Friday night were sights the school’s program hadn’t seen in quite some time.
Although he was wet and shivering, Arceneaux didn’t mind, as Church Point claimed a share of a district title for the first time in 16 seasons after the Bears defeated No. 6 Eunice High 42-7 in a 5-3A contest played at Bears Stadium.
Livonia’s 36-19 win over Port Barre created three-way tie for the district title.
Church Point (8-2, 4-1) exploded for 21 points and 160 yards rushing in the third period after leading 7-0 at halftime.
The Bears ended the game with 373 yards on the ground.
Eunice (8-2, 4-1) scored on the first play of the fourth quarter on John Johnson’s 2-yard run. On that drive, quarterback Trenon Trosclair ran for 75 yards on two plays.
The Bobcats finished the game with 165 rushing yards and 34 passing.
Church Point’s rushing attack featured five backs, with James Bellard gaining 114 on seven carries. Jacob Boone, who entered the game in the second quarter, had 93 on 15 carries and Gallen Williams obtained 83 on 14 attempts.
“This (win) is huge,” Arceneaux said. “The school won a championship outright in 1995, and after that, nothing.”
Arceneaux said he reminded his team at halftime about the tenuous seven-point lead and emphasized it needed to play better the final 24 minutes.
“I told the players, ?if you want to win this, you are going to have to win the second half,’” he said.
Church Point claimed the momentum during a seven-span in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns to grab a 28-0 lead to start the fourth period.
The Bears capped an eight-play, 60-yard drive that began the third quarter when Boone scored on a 1-yard run.
CPHS used Bellard’s 68-yard run on the first play of the next Bears series for another touchdown.
Church Point turned Chance Roy’s interception of a Trenon Trosclair pass into a 37-yard touchdown drive that ended on a 1-yard Williams run.
Eunice coach Paul Trosclair offered no excuses for the loss.
“In the second half, Church Point came out in that double tight end set, and they just dominated us,” he said. “It was as simple as that. You can’t blame it on anything else except us just getting whipped.”
Trosclair said the Bobcats, who would have won the league crown outright with a win, still have a lofty power rating entering the first round of the state playoffs.
“I told the team that we are still going to get a very high seed, and they are going to get a first-round playoff game at home. You can’t ask for much more than that,” Trosclair said.
The Bobcats had two chances in the first half to continue offensive drives deep in Bears’ territory, but were stopped twice on fourth-down attempts.
Eunice drove the game’s opening kickoff to the CPHS 36 in 10 plays, but were halted on a fourth-and-2.
In the second half, the Bobcats moved to the Bears’ 26, but were stopped on a fourth-and-4.
Arceneaux said third- and fourth-down situations were something the Bears emphasized all week.
“Last week, we struggled, especially on third down, offensively and defensively, so we worked on fixing that,” he said.
The Bears’ first-half touchdown march took over six minutes off the game clock and ended in 14 plays as quarterback Jake Morvant scored on a 1-yard run. Brock Latiolais kicked the first of six extra points to give CPHS the 7-0 lead.