LAKE CHARLES - Quarterback Ruston Matherne ran for 169 yards and three touchdowns and Lutcher scored 49 unanswered points, including a 28-point outburst in the second quarter, to win a Class 4A regional matchup at Washington-Marion 49-14.
Lutcher (11-1), the No. 3 seed in Class 4A, next will host Teurlings Catholic (9-3), the No. 6 seed, in the quarterfinals.
Teurlings Catholic, which eliminated Lutcher in the regionals last season, beat O.P. Walker 35-34 in overtime Friday night.
“Tonight was Lutcher football at its finest, to see these little guys fight the way they did,” Lutcher coach Tim Detillier said.
After quarterback Melvin Jones’ 5-yard touchdown run - set up by Bryson Goins’ interception return, gave Washington-Marion (8-4) a 7-0 lead, Lutcher went on its onslaught.
First, Matherne scored on a 1-yard run to tie the game at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Then, the Bulldogs ripped off 28 points in the second quarter to take a 35-7 halftime lead.
The run started with defensive back Ian Podufalski’s 10-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Daniel Taylor then scored on runs of 1 and 60 yards and Matherne scored from 14 yards out.
Lutcher added another Matherne rushing touchdown in the third quarter, a 14-yard run. And Dondre Simien pushed the lead to 49-7 in the fourth quarter before Demond Delahoussye scored on a W-M scored on a 24-yard pass from Dylan Gibson.
Matherne carried 17 times for his 169 yards, while Taylor had 110 yards on 14 carries as Lutcher totaled 388 yards on the ground. Matherne was also 6-for-7 for 84 yards.
“The last four weeks, he has stepped up,” Detillier said. “Opponents are so worried about Taylor and the receivers, but Matherne is playing lights out.”
All told, the Bulldogs outgained the Charging Indians 472-204.
“We did not have an answer for them on either side of the ball, they are a real good team and they should be playing for a long time,” W-M coach Freddie Harrison said. “They dominated both sides of the ball. This was a learning experience for us. Hopefully we can lick our wounds and go on to the next one.”
For W-M, Jones ran 15 times for 84 yards and threw for 29.
“It is hard to simulate (Jones),” Detillier said. “We did not have anybody on our roster to do it. We come out and make a mistake, and they went right down and scored.
“I can’t say enough about my kids and coaches, the way we responded. We played passion and heart, and I guess that is how we stopped them, because we were outmanned. In that second quarter we got hot, and it was like a big snowball going down the mountain.”
Washington-Marion’s win over Plaquemine in the bidistrict round the previous Friday snapped a decade-long playoff drought.
“I am proud of this bunch,” Harrison said. “They played their hardest and gave their heart. That is all you can ask for.
“The atmosphere was there tonight. I am glad the fans in the community came out and supported us. It is important to us to get the community behind the program again, and it was electrifying in here tonight. I will remember the way these kids fought all the time. No one will forget the way they turned things around.”