MANDEVILLE — Mandeville was riding high after a 2-0 start. University was looking to get above .500.
The Cubs came to the north shore and did just that.
University, a Class 3A team, controlled the line of scrimmage (especially in the second half) and defeated Class 5A Mandeville 42-27 at Sidney Theriot Stadium in a nondistrict game Friday night.
Michael Hollins, a freshman running back, led University (2-1) with three touchdowns. His runs were set up by a capable passing game that saw the Cubs compile more than 200 yards in both the air and ground attacks.
“We played as a team, played well,” Hollins said. “We had a great week of practice. (With the passing game going,) we were able to keep them off rhythm, and I was able to get a few good runs.”
The Cubs wasted no time in sending a message that they came to play. On a pitch back, B.J. Smothers threw an 80-yard touchdown to Tre Jackson on the first play from scrimmage. The ensuing PAT put University up 7-0.
Mandeville stormed back on its first possession, with a 2-yard touchdown pass from Cody Orgeron to Alex Boudreaux. That capped a drive that had Orgeron going 7-for-7 for 70 yards.
Mandeville had a chance to go ahead with 5:13 remaining in the quarter, but a field goal was wide left to keep things knotted at 7. But after his team held the Cubs on the following drive, Joe Boulivas booted a 32-yard field goal to put the Skippers ahead 10-7 with 1.58 remaining in the quarter.
University had a chance to tie the score with 5:32 left in the half, but Demoni Boyd blocked the kick and Mandeville set up shop at its 38. Boulivas came back and drilled a 39-yard field goal with 3:54 to go in the half to put the home team up 13-7.
The Cubs capped the half with an impressive drive: a 16-play, 80-yard surge that ended in a 13-yard pass from D.J. White to Malik Antoine. The PAT by Aidan Gale put University ahead 14-13 at halftime.
The Cubs came back strong in the second half with an opening 80-yard drive that ended with Hollins’ 10-yard touchdown run. The PAT put University up 21-13.
Fritz Walker came back with a 19-yard touchdown run along the right sideline with 5:50 left in the third. The Boulivas PAT put Mandeville within 21-20.
But University came right back with Hollins’ 3-yard run up the middle and a PAT to go up 28-20. Hollins rushed again on a fourth-down play from 48 yards to put the Cubs ahead 35-20 with his third touchdown.
“We had some mistakes early on,” Mandeville coach Guy Lecompte said. “That’s a very talented team in U-High. We missed some opportunities to extend some drives that could have kept the defense a little fresher a little longer.”