It took St. Thomas More a half to get its offense untracked — specifically, to get William Bellamy untracked.
It helped that the junior Cougar quarterback had Tiger Bech back in action.
The STM receiver had been sidelined with an injury for three weeks and hadn’t figured on playing that much Friday night in the regular-season finale against Breaux Bridge. But he entered the game in the second quarter and ended up with two touchdown catches to spark the Cougars to a comeback 25-7 victory in their District 5-4A clash.
Bellamy completed 30-of-48 passes for 315 yards, 215 of those coming in the second half after the visiting Tigers had taken a 7-6 halftime lead. In the second half, 12 of his 17 completions went for double-figure yardage and two of them went to Bech for 15 and five-yard touchdowns.
“We were able to take advantage when we had chances,” Bellamy said of the second half. “We had the ball five times in the red zone in the first half and got one score. It makes a big difference having Tiger and Trevor (Begue) back.”
The win virtually locks up a first-round bye in the Division I select playoffs for the Cougars (9-1, 5-1), who were fourth in the power rankings entering the final week. The top four teams in Division I get a bye in the opening round.
“That’s big for us,” STM coach Jim Hightower said of the bye. “We wanted to get those guys in the game a little if we could, and I think that’ll make them better two weeks from now. It makes a huge difference having them in there.”
Breaux Bridge (6-3, 4-2) will hope for a first-round home game in the Class 4A nonselect bracket when the playoff pairings are announced Sunday.
CATHOLIC HIGH 58, EAST ASCENSION 28: Catholic High’s climb to the top of District 5-5A this season has been a methodical ascent, fending off worthy challengers along the way.
Why should the regular-season finale be any different, even with the league’s championship decided before kickoff.
Sixth-ranked Catholic High put on an offensive display Friday that resulted in a season-high points and more than 500 yards to turn back a determined effort from East Ascension at Olympia Stadium.
The Bears (9-1) completed a 6-0 run through the district and await their seeding in the Division I, Select playoffs Sunday.
ZACHRY 56, BROADMOOR 22: A nearly perfect first quarter helped Zachary easily accomplish its goal of winning its first outright football district title as a Class 5A school.
Zachary surged to a 36-0 lead after one quarter and defeated Broadmoor 56-22 at Broadmoor on Friday night.
Ninth-ranked Zachary (9-1) won its ninth straight game and finished a perfect 6-0 in District 4-5A in its first season under coach David Brewerton. Zachary shared the 2010 title with Central. It was the sixth time this season that the Broncos scored over 40 points.
“Getting that first outright district championship was very important for our program,” Brewerton said. “The kids really came out ready to go and were focused. We were dominant in all three phases of the game and were able to play every senior tonight.”
Zachary sophomore Braylon Jones scored on an 85-yard kickoff return on the first play of the game and added rushing TDs of 11 and 38 yards in the first half.
UNIVERSITY 55, BAKER 14: University Lab celebrated senior night against Baker on Friday night. Senior quarterback Manny Miles apparently took that sentiment to heart.
Miles threw five touchdowns in the Cubs’ win against the Buffaloes to finish the season undefeated heading into the playoffs and officially securing the district 7-3A title in the process.
“It’s an emotional night on senior night and you get a weird felling that you don’t know if you like it or not,” Miles said. “It was fun though to be out here with your brothers.”
Miles said he wasn’t thinking about it while it was happening, but three of his five scores went to fellow seniors, while two more scored on the ground.
But Miles said his favorite play of the night doesn’t even count for him in the stat sheet.
A minute into the second quarter with the Cubs leading 21-7, Miles pitched the ball to senior offensive lineman E.J. Oglesby who hurdled over a defender for the score. Oglesby would have been considered an ineligible receiver, but the officials determined Miles threw the ball backwards, making it a 4-yard rushing touchdown instead.
“He works for me every down, every play, takes care of me, makes sure I’m not getting hit, he’s worked hard for four years and offensive lineman don’t get a glory moment like that too often,” Miles said.
Miles finished the night with 221 yards on 10-15 passing, including several long passes to wide receiver Tre Jackson.
Miles and Jackson connected twice in the first quarter — Miles’ only passes of the period — for a pair of touchdowns of 49 and 20 yards, respectively.
But the U-high offense stifled its own numbers all night after finishing with more points than their 42 run plays.
“Anytime you can stretch the defense down the field, that helps,” U-High coach Chad Mahaffey said. “You take what’s there and we were able to get some deep balls and we’ll take them.”
Baker coach Richard Oliver credited the Cubs with playing great football Friday night, saying his team just couldn’t keep up, especially after several early turnover halted offensive drives.
The most costly mistake of the night came when U-High defensive back Malik Antoine intercepted Baker quarterback Treylan Anderson at the goal line before returning the ball 100 yards for the touchdown.
“They’re good,” Oliver said shaking his head. “We never stopped them. They ran the ball down the field on us. They’re a good ball club.”
Baker didn’t get completely shutout, though, as it was able to score on a Preston Bell, 9-yard run just before the end of the first quarter. The only other score of the night for the Buffaloes would come early in the fourth quarter when Devontae Rogers punched it in from a yard out.
U-High would eventually put in its second string half way through the fourth quarter, but even then, Baker couldn’t stop the Cubs as senior wide receiver Logan Hall ran it in from three yards out with a few minutes to play.
Now, U-High will look forward to its bye week before starting in one of the top spots of the 3A playoffs.
“This was great for the program,” said senior running back Nick Brossette. “Ever since I got here in eighth grade, we’ve got the program on the rise and to have this tradition of football, the whole atmosphere at U-High is great.”