NEW IBERIA — Second-ranked Catholic High of New Iberia was impressive in all three phases of the game en route to a 69-12 win over district rival Loreauville on Friday night.
“We didn’t have the greatest week of practice, but we really came out focused,” said Catholic coach Brent Indest, whose team improved to 9-0, 3-0 in district. “I am proud and couldn’t ask for better.”
Senior Panthers wide receiver André Bellefontaine started the game off with a bang for Catholic, returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for the score.
“André is sneaky fast and he has been close all year,” Indest said. “He hits it hard. It was nice to get that one.”
After the Panthers defense forced a three-and-out on the Tigers’ first possession, Catholic’s Jeremy Touchet Jr. found the end zone on a 25-yard scamper, increasing Catholic’s lead to 14-0.
The Panther defense remained stout in the first quarter with two more three-and-outs, while Catholic running back Seth Pierre scored his 13th touchdown of the season on a 35-yard rush, putting the Panthers in front 21-0.
“What sets us apart from the rest of the district is our defensive front,” Indest said. “They’re not huge, but they cause a lot of disruption.”
Later in the first quarter, senior Panthers quarterback Jason Pellerin gave Catholic a 28-0 advantage with a 55-yard strike to Bellefontaine. The Panthers recovered the ensuing onside kick, and punched in another score on Pierre’s 14th rushing score of the season.
After falling behind 35-0, Loreauville quarterback Jared Henry responded with a 40-yard touchdown run, his 12th rushing score of the season. However, the Catholic Wing-T running attack took control of the game once again with scores from Peyton Pharr and Touchet, propelling the Panthers ahead 49-6.
On the following Tigers possession, Touchet took the field at cornerback and recorded a leaping interception near midfield.
“I’m really happy for Jeremy,” Indest said. “Last week, he had a rough game, but tonight he stepped up and had an excellent game.”
Catholic High now moves on to its regular season finale against Delcambre. The Panthers will try to become the third team in school history to finish a season undefeated.
“An undefeated season is something that is extremely special,” Indest said. “We just need to stay focused. Delcambre is a solid team. I’m glad we have them at home.”
Loreauville (5-4, 2-2) concludes its regular season against Jeanerette at home next week.