Sometimes a plan works.
Sometimes one just comes together almost magically.
Rummel High School coach Jay Roth may have summoned the pixie dust at halftime of Saturday’s 35-6 win against St. Augustine at Tad Gormley Stadium.
Leading 7-0 at halftime, Roth’s Raiders — ranked No. 1 statewide in Class 5A and No. 11 nationally by USA Today — scored twice within in three minutes at the start of the third quarter to turn a close game into a District 9-5A rout.
“We knew we had to throw the ball in the second half,” Roth said after his team ran its record to 7-0, 2-0 in District 9-5A. “They were keying too much on us at the line of scrimmage. We could not run.
“I didn’t know how we were going to throw it, but I knew we were going to throw.”
Receiver David Hensley showed the way, catching two long touchdown passes from quarterback Chase Fourcade to start the second half.
Hensley grabbed a 53-yarder on the third quarter’s first snap. On Rummel’s next possession, he pulled in a 48-yarder. Hensley was wide open on both plays.
“At halftime coach just said we were going to throw the ball,” Hensley said after finishing the second half with four catches for 151 yards. “He said the receivers were going to have to step up.”
On the first score, Hensley blew past the defender’s coverage when “he opened his hips (one way) I went the other way.”
That gave Rummel a 14-0 lead with 12 seconds expired in the half. A little more than two minutes later, Hensley broke to the outside and deep down the sideline after both St. Augustine defenders broke to cover the short man on a rub pattern.
“There was nobody with me on that one,” Hensley said.
Rummel’s defense held St. Aug without a score until the game’s last play. Stanley Morgan caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Justice McCoy.
“We knew we had to contain them, not let them have the big play,” Roth said.
The Knights had only three gains of 20-plus yards before the final plays.
The Raiders registered five sacks and 10 other plays that lost or gained no yardage.
A pair of interceptions by defensive back Kristian Fulton gave the Raiders their 7-0 halftime lead.
Rummel intercepted three passes in the game.
Fulton’s first interception occurred midway through the first quarter when he grabbed a McCoy pass at the Raiders 26 and returned it 19 yards to the 45-yard line.
Rummel moved the 55 yards in 10 plays with Fourcade plowing through the middle for the final foot on fourth down, the half’s only score.
Late in the second quarter, the Purple Knights marched from their own 19 to the Raiders 12 in 12 plays. But on the next play of the march, McCoy looked toward Morgan near the goal.
Fulton and Morgan reached for the pass simultaneously, but Fulton pulled it away for his second interception.
Rummel is ranked No. 1 in The New Orleans Advocate Large School Super 10, St. Aug is ranked No. 8 in the Super 10.