ZACHARY — Start fast and never stop. It’s a simple formula that has worked for third-seeded Zachary High all season.
The Broncos did it again Friday night, racing to a 21-point lead en route to a 41-26 victory over District 4-5A rival Scotlandville High in a Class 5A quarterfinal game at Bronco Stadium.
“We challenged our guys this week to start fast,” first-year Zachary coach David Brewerton said. “We knew we were going to get their best shot. Wow; (Zachary in the semifinals) sounds great.
“I’ve been asked a million times, ‘Did you expect this?’ I guess the answer to this is, our kids have done everything we’ve asked since we stepped on this campus in February. I did expect to have a good season. They expect to win.”
It was the 12th straight win for Zachary (12-1). The Broncos travel to play defending 5A champion Acadiana (10-3) in the semifinals. Scotlandville finishes 9-4.
The game showcased two talented quarterbacks. Zachary junior Lindsey Scott Jr. completed 11 of 18 passes for 156 yards and four touchdowns. Scott added an ankle-breaking 42-yard touchdown run to his highlight reel.
Scotlandville sophomore Levi Lewis ran for 113 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns. He had a 56-yard run. Lewis completed 16 of 24 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Hornets score 20 second-half points.
The Hornets collected 64½ yards in penalties, including several costly unsportsmanlike-conduct calls. Two Scotlandville players were ejected.
“Hopefully some of these kids have grown up — not just in football, but in life,” Scotlandville coach Eric Randall said. “How do you bounce back? How do you respond? We had a couple of bonehead plays that set us back. I hadn’t seen that (unsportsmanlike conduct) in them all season.
“They played to the end. Levi is a competitor. He just turned 15, and he’s doing things you expect a senior to make.”
Randall noted that going against the son of his former Southern University teammate, Lindsey Scott Sr., was a double-edged sword.
“Bad ankle or not, he made the plays,” Randall said.
Zachary displayed its rapid-fire offense, needing 2:42 and nine plays to score 21 first-half points.
The Broncos took the opening kickoff and 1:31 to score. Scott lofted a 65-yard scoring pass to Maurice Flowers. The first of Ashton Bastedo’s point after kicks made it 7-0 with 10:27 left in the first quarter.
Zachary scored on its second possession following a 13-yard Scotlandville punt. Shyron White caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Scott that made it 14-0 with 7:28 left.
Scotlandville was its own worst enemy. The Hornets had three turnovers. Zachary’s Khari Lowe had two interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Broncos.
“I try to go out and make plays whenever I step on the field,” Lowe said. “I got a lot of opportunities tonight.”
One unsportsmanlike conduct penalty eased the impact of Lewis’ 56-yard run. However, Lewis got the Hornets on the scoreboard with an 18-yard touchdown run with 1:49 left in the half, making it 21-6.
The Broncos forced a Scotlandville three-and-out to open the second half. Scott put the Broncos up 28-6 with a his elusive 42-yard touchdown scramble with 8:02 left in the third quarter, dispelling worries about a recent ankle injury.
“I’m up to 100 percent,” Scott said when asked about his ankle.
“There’s nothing that a little adrenalin can’t fix. Tonight I wanted to put the team on my shoulders. We wanted to attack their secondary.”
Scotlandville countered with its best drive — a 12-play, 74-yarder. Lewis threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to David Armstead. Each time Scotlandville got closer, Zachary countered. First there was a 4-yard touchdown run by Terry Sullivan and later a 29-yard Scott-to-Douglas Coleman scoring strike.