Quarterback Dominic Curole was back in Chalmette’s lineup Thursday night against Bonnabel after missing the past two games with a shoulder injury.
With Curole back, the Owls used the District 8-5A game against the Bruins to tune up for next week’s big one against Ehret by taking a 37-14 victory at Joe Yenni Stadium.
“I was itching on the sideline to get back in,” said Curole, who passed for 192 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half. “I’m just ready to get after Ehret next week.
“I’m real excited (about the passing). I’m hoping to do the same next week.”
It was the eighth consecutive district win for Chalmette (5-2, 4-0) since losing to John Ehret 13-10 last season and kept them in sole possession of first place in the district. Bonnabel, which lost its homecoming game, stumbled to 0-7, including 0-4 in district.
It easily could have been more of a rout. Curole, whose shoulder was injured during the first half of the district-opening victory against Landry-Walker, brought passing back to Chalmette’s offense. With him out, the Owls relied almost solely on the running game with freshman Jason Roper replacing Curole.
“If you watched what we did when Dominic was healthy, we threw the ball,” Chalmette coach Jason Tucker said. “If you go back to the Holy Cross game and even against Landry-Walker in the first half, when he’s healthy, we have all the confidence in the world to throw it.”
This one was over almost as soon as it started. Nine plays into the game, Chalmette led 14-0, and it took 16 plays to build a 27-0 bulge 1 minute, 11 seconds into the second quarter. The Owls led 30-0 at halftime, and Mitchell was tackled at the Bonnabel 3 on the last play of the first half.
The big-play onslaught consisted of runs of 38 yards by Mitchell and 50 yards by Kerry Johnson, as well as a 59-yard pass to Johnson.
Led by Curole, the Owls rolled to 310 yards total offense and 14 first downs in the first half.
“Chalmette’s tough and fast and physical,” Bonnabel coach Reggie Rogers said. “And, that’s how you play football. They run that Wing-T hard, their defense gets after you.”
With the Owls using their customary sky kicks on kickoffs, Bonnabel had no return game and was unable to generate any offense, gaining 41 yards rushing and 3 yards on 1-of-6 passing.
The Bruins, who had been shut out in their previous two games against Landry-Walker and Cox, left with some encouragement, however. Backup quarterback Jordan McInerney, a sophomore, replaced injured starter Semaj Franklin and threw touchdown passes to wide receiver Denzel Winzy of 41 yards at the 8:30 mark in the third quarter and 19 yards at with 5:59 left in the fourth. McInerney completed 4 of 5 passes for 68 yards.
“Our kids were able to do some things in the second half that were positives to me,” Rogers said. “(McInerney) is a football player, but he’s a sophomore. His turn to be our guy will be next season.”