A conventional method it was not, but Country Day’s offense was finally shut down Friday afternoon.
Lightning, not Ecole Classique’s defense, did the job.
After the Cajuns scored touchdowns on their first five possessions and burst to a 35-0 lead over Ecole Classique, a cluster of thunderstorms pierced with lightning bolts sent the Cajuns and Spartans off the Country Day football field during a District 9-1A game and into the Country Day athletic building.
When the teams left the field, 4:16 showed on the second-quarter clock. Both coaches agreed with the officials that when play resumed the game would resume at the start of the third period. Play never resumed, and the Cajuns were awarded the 35-0 victory.
During the delay of more than 30 minutes, the school’s lightning warning system blared three different times. Radar confirmed the presence of the lingering threat.
In the first 10 minutes of play, running back Jase Griffin ran for touchdowns of 6, 5, and 15 yards to give Country Day a 21-0 lead.
Price Petagna, who also kicked five extra points, intercepted a pass on Ecole’s next possession. By the time backup quarterback Christian Kerut connected with a 50-yard touchdown pass with Robert Livaudais, the Cajuns led 28-0 with one minute remaining in the first quarter.
Ecole managed to get its running attack in gear in the second period.
Quarterback Brock Ruben (25 yards) and 260-pound back Nemo Bailey (24 yards) enabled Ecole to control 15 of the quarter’s 18 snaps.
However, the Cajuns needed only three plays to move 70 yards in their only possession of the period. Jack White bolted the first 50 to the Ecole 20. After one play, White scored on a run from the nine, making it 35-0.
Country Day, No. 8 in The New Orleans Advocate’s Small Schools Super 10, began substituting in the second quarter.
“We would have liked to have played more,” Cajuns Coach Richard Wood said. “We’ve got players who need the experience. But the weather was certainly a problem.”
Ecole coach Maurice Gernhauser suits up only 18 players, but he was happy with the effort he got from his team.
“We are so inexperienced in the line right now,” Gernhauser said. “We have only two returning linemen. I told the kids when we started, we have two short weeks of practice, and we start against (one of the top teams) in the state.
“Defensively, we got into position and missed a lot of tackles. You cannot arm tackle guys who run as hard as (Country Day’s backs) do.”
Wood was pleased with the play of this offensive line and his defense.
“We’ve been working on (the offensive line),” he said. “We lost half of the line from last year, and they were all good players, so it was good to see the running game work.”
Country Day, 10-2 last season, gained 237 yards total offense in roughly 20 minutes of play. Griffin (52 yards) and White (66) led a running game that produced 171 yards.