OPELOUSAS — There was no other alternative than to run straight at Loreauville, and that’s just how Opelousas Catholic wanted it Thursday night at Donald Gardner Stadium.
The Vikings ran quarterback David Labbe 24 times on keepers for 118 yards and three touchdowns as OCHS defeated Loreauville 27-6 in the District 5-2A opener for both teams.
OCHS remained undefeated after six games, while the Tigers fell to 3-3.
Labbe said the game plan was simple.
Just let the offensive line perform the work straight ahead and run closely behind his big blockers, Labbe said.
“Before the game we talked about being the most physical team,” Labbe said. “We thought we would run and run and then maybe get the big play and score.”
Labbe said he knew he would do most of the running, since senior running back Caleb Vidrine had an ankle injury.
OCHS coach Dane Charpentier said there wasn’t much else his team could do offensively.
“We planned to go right at them,” Charpentier said. “We aren’t much good at anything else. We would like to be able to do other stuff, but at the end of the day, you are who you are,”
Labbe also completed 7 of 14 passes for 140 yards, but the Vikings didn’t attempt a pass in the second half.
Loreauville coach Trent Delahoussaye said OC didn’t do anything exotic or unexpected.
Delahoussaye said he also prepared his team for a physical game.
“That’s what we preached all week to the kids,” Delahoussaye said. “We knew how physical (the Vikings) were, and we are kind of undersized up front.
“In the end, they just wore us down.”
Loreauville quarterback Jared Henry gained 119 yards on 20 attempts. Shae Lee had 48 on nine attempts.
Both coaches said the game hinged on a potential Loreauville scoring drive that failed late in the second quarter.
The Tigers drove from their 32 to the OCHS 41 in seven plays, but the Vikings pounced on a Loreauville fumble with 3:01 remaining and then converted the turnover into a touchdown.
OCHS traveled 59 yards in nine plays, with Labbe running and completing three passes for 42 yards.
Connor Cart had two receptions on the drive, the second catch for 29. Labbe took over from there, scoring on his fourth carry on a 4-yard run with five seconds left before halftime.
“That was a big momentum shift for us, coming right before the half after we fumbled,” Delahoussaye said.
In the third quarter, the Tigers had the ball for only nine snaps as OCHS devoured nearly nine minutes.
The Vikings mishandled a punt, but retained possession in the first quarter, setting up the game’s first score on a 67-yard drive that consumed five plays.
Vidrine scored on a 52-yard run as he broke off tackle at the 3:32 mark.
The Tigers came right back with a touchdown 14 seconds later as Rashid Bonnette returned the kickoff 80 yards.
OCHS started moving again on the next series when Aaron Whipp returned the ensuing kickoff 46 yards, setting up the Vikings at the Loreauville 34.
Labbe threw to tight end Brett Mills for 33 yards, and on the next play from the 1, Labbe scored his team’s second touchdown.