PORT ALLEN — Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano already knew Austin Mitchell’s capabilities on the ground attack, but the first-year quarterback showed him even more Friday night.
Mitchell concentrated on a passing game and threw five touchdown passes in a 49-18 win over Port Allen at Guy Otwell Stadium.
“He had a great game running the ball against Brother Martin (last week), but this week (Mitchell) was more effective passing the ball,” Distefano said.
“He’s a vital part of our offense, but we have a lot of other weapons out there.”
Mitchell finished the game 6-of-10 passing for 220 yards and one interception.
Mitchell found plenty of success with Wayne Toussaint, who caught two TD passes and ran for another. Sophomore Michael Sproles also emerged as an effective target with two long receptions in the first half.
Sproles had two receptions for 109 yards and Toussaint two for 85 yards.
Plaquemine created problems for Port Allen throughout the opening half with touchdowns on four of six possessions.
The Green Devils amassed 258 yards total offense the opening half and held the Pelicans to 61.
“Plaquemine has a discipline-oriented offense that lures you to sleep with the option,” Port Allen coach Nick Mitchell.
Plaquemine took lead on its opening drive when Toussiant scored on a 20-yard run at the 7:39 mark. Tyler Wesley scooted 18 yards off two carries on the nine-play, 62-yard scoring drive.
Austin Mitchell got plenty mileage off passes to sophomore Sproles that accounted for two touchdowns.
Port Allen tried unsuccessfully to cut its lead in the first quarter on a Robertson 38-yard field goal attempt that barely got into the end zone.
The Green Devils wasted no time stretching their lead. Mitchell connected with Sproles on a 75-yard TD pass put Plaquemine ahead 14-0 at the end of the opening quarter.
Mitchell turned to Sproles once more in the first half on a 31-yard pass with 8:47 left in the first half.
A 15yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty put Plaquemine at the Pelicans 47 and two Toussiant carries for a 11 yards set up the TD.
Toussaint scored once more in the opening half, this time on a 57-yard pass from Mitchell less than four minutes before halftime.
The Pelicans showed fire in the second half with three touchdowns by junior quarterback Jarrious Robertson.
Port Allen mounted a scoring drive on its first possession of the second half when Robertson found Sean Garner on a 15-yard scoring pass. The drive had a rocky start with a sack that sent Robertson back 9 yards, but he followed with a 35-yard gain to set up the TD pass.
“One thing I’ve always said about Jarrious is that he’s great on his feet,” Nick Mitchell said. “Is there room for improvement and a little more maturity? Yes … but I like it that way.
Younger players got a chance to shine for Plaquemine when sophomore Cody Willis scored on two TD receptions — a 21-yard from Mitchell and a 29-yard pass from Myron Gibson.
“We have almost 60 underclassmen, so it was good for us that we got ahead enough to give them some playing time,” Distefano said.
Port Allen travels Friday to Livonia, while Plaquemine visits St. Thomas More.