Denham Springs football coach Dru Nettles figured the best way to attack Scotlandville potent offense was with another offense.
So Nettles’ efficient Yellow Jackets scored on six of their seven possessions en route to a 41-13 victory over Scotlandville in a District 4-5A opener played Friday night at Louisiana Leadership Institute’s Doug Williams Stadium.
“We knew we needed to keep the ball away from them,” Nettles said. “So we drew up the game plan and the guys executed it about as well as anybody could. It was total effort.
“The offense drove the ball, the defense made stops. The stop right before half was huge, because they scored at the start of the second half. Our special teams came up with some big plays, too.”
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for DSHS (4-2, 1-0). It was the first loss for Scotlandville (5-1, 0-1).
“They were the better team tonight - no question,” Scotlandville coach Ken Hilton said. “Denham came in with a game plan and executed. They whipped us up front. We didn’t get a stop defensively until the end of the game. We’ve got to get better.”
Kyle Cedotal completed 9 of 10 passes for 145 yards and four touchdowns to pace the Yellow Jackets, who used their running attack to set up play- action passes. Kaleb Blanchard ran for 79 yards on 12 carries, including a 25-yard TD run. Zach Borne caught three passes for 84 yards with three TDs.
Kimani Smith completed 12 of 28 passes for 209 yards and one TD for Scotlandville, which had just 25 rushing yards. Cevon Cage had eight catches for 101 yards and scored both TDs, one on an 8-yard reception and the other on an 81-yard kickoff return. Kajandre Domino finished with three catches for 95 yards for the Hornets.
Just as important as the offense were the key stops by the DSHS defense. Smith threw incompletions into the DSHS end zone three plays and was forced to run in another goal- line situation as the clock expired to end the half.
Denham Springs started its game of keep away with the opening kickoff. The Yellow Jackets drove 70 yards in 14 play, taking 7:06 off the clock. A pass interference call against Scotlandville helped keep the drive alive.
Cedotal scored on a 1-yard run with 4:47 left in the first quarter. David McKey’s PAT kick made it 7-0.
McKey then executed a perfect onside kick. DSHS’ Sam Guba recovered and the Yellow Jackets moved 41 yards in three plays. Borne caught a 37-yard TD pass from Cedotal, making it 14-0 with 3:02 left.
Scotlandville recovered another onside kick and drove for its only score of the half. Smith’s 29-yard pass to Cage was the big play. Smith and Cage also connected on an 8-yard scoring pass. Dontrail Hilliard’s PAT kick made it 14-7 with 17.6 seconds left in the first quarter.
Denham Springs countered with a 10-play drive that ended with Blanchard racing to the end zone on a 25-yard run, making it 20-7 with 6:29 to go in the half.
The Yellow Jackets were not done. DSHS’ Chris Sparacino recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and the Yellow Jacksets drove for another score. Cedotal tossed an 8-yard TD pass to Sterling Suggs this time, and it was 27-7 at the 3:30 mark.
A 33-yard Smith to Domino pass helped Scotlandville march down the field. The Hornets got to the DSHS 8, and Smith was forced to run and was tackled as the clock expired.
Cage opened the second half with his 81-yard kickoff return for a TD, making it 27-13. But Denham Springs countered with a seven-play drive. Cedotal’s 17-yard TD pass to Borne made it 34-13 with 7:37 left in the third quarter.
Another long drive - this one 10 plays - capped the scoring with Cedotal hitting Borne with a 30-yard TD strike.