It may have been close in the rankings, but it certainly wasn’t on the field.
Lusher and Thomas Jefferson came into Friday’s matchup ranked ninth and 10th in The New Orleans Advocate’s Small Schools Super 10, but the Lions beat the Jaguars 48-7 in a dominant performance at Hoss Memtsas Stadium on Friday night.
“I still think about last year’s game when we were leading the entire game and they made a surprise comeback on us,” Lusher coach Louis Landrum said. “They ended up beating us up, and I didn’t want that to happen this year.”
After forcing five turnovers in a disappointing loss to Riverdale last week, the Lusher (3-2) defense came back with yet another stellar performance. It held Thomas Jefferson to 143 total yards of offense — which included 54 total yards and no points in the first half.
“We knew it would be tough for (our defense) to come out and play motivated after taking that loss against Riverdale last week,” Landrum said. “I’ve been in their ears all week long about not quitting and thinking of the bigger picture. We’re trying to improve because we’re in a brutal district this year. That’s our goal.”
Lusher running back Joshua Barney finished with 15 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown. Louis Landrum III added 77 yards on seven touches and scored three total touchdowns — all in the first half.
“We were hungry to steal their homecoming because they took ours last year,” Barney said. “We knew we had to come out hard and play strong.”
The Jaguars scored their first points after taking the opening possession of the second half 62 yards on 12 plays, capped by a 6-yard touchdown run by receiver Tyler Butler.
Lusher running back Roland Watson responded by taking the ensuing kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown. After failing on the two-point conversion attempt, the Lions led 40-7.
“We have to prepare better mentally,” said Butler, who tallied 49 yards on four touches. “We just have to focus and not just think it’s just going to happen without putting in the work.”
With a little over seven minutes left in the second quarter, Lusher defensive lineman Aaron Harris jumped in front of a screen pass from Thomas Jefferson (3-2) quarterback Tyler Lavergne and returned the interception 20 yards for a touchdown, giving the Lions a 21-0 lead.
After a Thomas Jefferson four-and-out on the following possession, Lusher only needed four plays to march 40 yards before Landrum dived in for a 1-yard touchdown to give the Lions a 28-0 lead.
Lusher will host Ben Franklin next Friday, and Thomas Jefferson will try to bounce back from back-to-back blowout losses next Saturday when it plays Grace King at Joe Yenni.