ZACHARY - An old warhorse kept the Zachary football team in the middle of the District 4-5A race on Friday night.
Senior quarterback Mason Pace completed 18 of 24 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns as the Broncos overwhelmed Live Oak 49-0 on Senior Night at Bronco Stadium.
“He’s done a great job all year long spreading the ball around and reading through his progressions,” said Zachary coach Neil Weiner. “He worked very hard this week to show that he was capable of doing a great job of keeping everyone involved tonight.”
The Broncos (7-2, 3-1) relied on contributions from upperclassmen throughout to keep pace with three other 4-5A teams who entered Friday with one loss in league play.
Pace completed passes to 10 receivers and also rushed for 42 yards. Senior running back Boston Scott finished with 205 all-purpose yards including a 95-yard kickoff return at the beginning of the second half.
Running back Forrest Town rushed for two touchdowns while Ron Pennington and Curtis Crenshaw each added rushing scores. Senior wide receivers Aaron Simon and Dillon Beard each hauled in touchdown receptions as the Broncos outgained the Eagles 474-145
Live Oak (2-7, 0-4) dropped their fifth straight game and suffered their first shutout of the season. The Eagles overcame a fumble on their first play from scrimmage and engineered a 17-play drive in the first quarter before the possession ended in a missed field goal.
The Broncos then scored on five straight possessions to take a 35-0 halftime lead.
“Our effort wasn’t there in the first half,” said Live Oak coach David Dykes. “Zachary had a great game plan, and they executed it really well.”
The Eagles managed only four first downs in the final three quarters. Quarterback Cole Leblanc rushed for 83 yards on 16 carries before exiting the game in the second half with a hip pointer.
Senior Taylor Mayeaux paced the ZHS defense with two sacks and two pass deflections. The Broncos secondary limited the Eagles to 30 passing yards.
“The coaching staff has done a great job reinforcing the fundamentals with those guys,” Weiner said. “Our guys took it as a challenge to see if they could shut out a good defense.”
The Broncos needed only 14 seconds for their first touchdown. Senior linebacker Garrett Venable recovered a fumble on the Eagles’ first play from scrimmage, setting up a 22-yard touchdown pass from Pace to Beard.
A missed field goal gave the Broncos possession at their 17-yard line with 5:06 left in the first quarter. Pace completed three straight passes on a nine-play touchdown drive capped by Pennington’s 4-yard run on fourth-and-1.
Crenshaw’s 45-yard touchdown run cushioned the Broncos’ lead to 21-0 in the second quarter.
A 60-yard punt pinned the Broncos at their 2-yard line. But the offense drove 98 yards in eight plays, including a 14-yard touchdown reception by Simon that put ZHS ahead 28-0.
Town’s 4-yard scoring run at the end of the first half completed a six-play scoring drive that lasted nearly four minutes.