A battle between the district’s best offenses turned into a struggle between two outstanding defenses as St. Paul’s defeated Mandeville 7-0 on Friday night at Sidney Theriot Stadium.
With the win, the Wolves (8-1, 6-0) clinched a share of the District 6-5A title after Slidell’s 28-27 upset of Fontainebleau.
“Not in my wildest dreams did I think we were going to shut out an offense like Mandeville’s, but that was our goal,” Wolves defensive end Hunter Romero said. “We played together, and we played well. It was the definition of a full team effort. We knew we had to come out swinging from the start.”
The lone score came in the first quarter. Absorbing a punishing blow by the Mandeville defense, senior quarterback Kenny Sears was able to thread the ball between two defenders to Domnic Davenport for a 25-yard touchdown.
“Earlier in the week, we had no idea if it was going to be a shootout or a close game,” Sears said. “Our defense played one heck of a game. Hats off to them and our offensive line as well. When I threw the ball to Domnic, I had no idea it was a touchdown, because I got hit. I just heard the crowd roar, and I just give him all the credit for making the big play when we needed it.”
Sears finished 16-of-32 for 128 yards. Davenport was the leading receiver for the Wolves with five catches for 47 yards.
“I saw the coverage (Mandeville) was in, and I ran my route and the ball was there,” Davenport said. “I just said to myself, ‘I have to make a play, because we may not have another chance.’ I never thought this game would end 7-0. I thought it was going to be a tough game, but never 7-0.”
Mandeville had a chance to tie it late, driving the ball to the Wolves 13-yard line. But Cody Orgeron was sacked and turned the ball over with less than two minutes to go.
An excited St. Paul’s coach Ken Sears credited his entire team for a well-fought effort.
“An outstanding game on both sides of the ball,” he said. “Hats off to our defensive staff for coming up with such a great game plan. They contained a good Mandeville offense. We were able to put them in some bad situations, and we came up big when we had to the most.”
A game featuring the top scoring offenses in the parish was a turnover fest in the first quarter. On Mandeville’s first possession, Connor Lockhart was intercepted by Deonte Sorapuru on an attempted halfback pass.
In addition to the interception, Mandeville lost two fumbles in the first half and missed a 42-yard field goal.
The Wolves had their fair share of mistakes as well in the first with an interception and getting stopped on fourth down inside Mandeville territory, halting a 12-play drive.
“I’m proud of our kids effort,” Skippers coach Guy Lecompte said. “I’m just disappointed we had too many turnovers. St. Paul’s has a tremendous ballclub. We had some opportunities, and we just didn’t capitalize on it.”