N ew Iberia — The No. 4-ranked St. Thomas More team found the end zone seven times in its first 14 plays on Friday, cruising to a 63-13 victory over Westgate.
The Cougars (6-0, 1-0) will go for their seventh straight win next week as they host district rival Teurlings Catholic. The Tigers (1-5, 0-3) will look to bounce back next week as they travel to Cecilia.
St. Thomas More took control of the game early on, as Cougar cornerback James Braun intercepted Westgate quarterback Gerald Broussard on the first play of the game.
“That first interception was really big,” St. Thomas More coach Jim Hightower said. “It was a really nice pick. (Braun) timed the ball perfectly.”
Less than a minute later, St. Thomas More junior quarterback William Bellamy delivered a 22-yard touchdown strike to running back Trevor Begue, giving the Cougars their first lead. The pass was the first of three touchdown tosses for Bellamy
The Tigers quickly responded, however, as Broussard rolled out of the pocket and found wide receiver Joseph Broussard, who sprinted 80 yards, evening the score at 7-7.
Begue also made an impact on special teams, returning the ensuing kickoff to the Westgate 25 yard line. The return set up the Cougars’ second score, a 15-yard end around from senior wide receiver Tiger Bech, putting St. Thomas More in front for good 14-7.
Bellamy recorded two more touchdown passes in the first quarter on a screen pass to wide receiver Griffin Hebert, and on a diving grab from Bech, giving the Cougars a commanding 28-7 advantage.
The Cougar defensive unit came up with another interception later in the first quarter on the hands of senior cornerback Jacolby Broussard.
After senior running back Deuce Wallace scored on a draw, Bech crossed the goal line yet again, stiff-arming two Westgate defenders on his way to the end zone. In the Cougars’ next possession, junior Matthew Gardner replaced Bellamy at quarterback, and recorded a touchdown run of his own on a draw play from near midfield, increasing the St. Thomas More lead to 49-7 at halftime.
“I’m impressed with the attitude of the team,” Hightower said. “Everyone got an opportunity. They came out and they executed. I think we showed some depth tonight.”
Westgate’s suspensions stemming from last week’s loss to Northside proved to be costly, especially on the defensive side.