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St. Thomas More quarterback Walker Howard really put the team on his back in Friday's win over Neville, accounting for all five touchdowns.

An opportunistic St. Thomas More team trounced Plaquemine 63-0 for the Cougars' first win of the season.

Senior quarterback Walker Howard accounted for four touchdowns, and STM capitalized on three first-half turnovers to build a 28-0 lead at intermission.

The Cougars took the opening kickoff and briskly drove the length of the field for a 7-0 lead. Senior quarterback Walker Howard, who was 3-of-4 passing on the drive for 54 yards, capped it off with an 8-yard strike to Jack Hines.

In the second quarter, STM (1-2) put the game away. Early in the quarter, a Plaquemine fumble was recovered by Alex Fink to give the Cougars possession at the Green Devils' 17-yard line. On the next play, Howard tossed a 17-yard scoring pass to tight end Barron Sawyer.

Two additional Plaquemine turnovers led to touchdowns for STM, which led 28-0 at halftime.

"I was pleased with the effort," STM coach Jim Hightower said. "It was awfully good to see the defense get off the field. Third-and-fourth downs have been difficult for us the past two weeks, but I thought we did a good job today. We rallied to the ball. We tackled better.

"We got some breaks in the kicking game. They fumbled several balls and we took advantage of that. Overall, I'm pleased. It was a positive step. We'll see if we can get better next week."

Plaquemine (0-2), which failed to complete its first nine passing attempts, had three first-half possessions end in STM territory.

"I saw some people on defense who stepped up," Hightower said. "They got better tonight. They were a little more aggressive. That's what it takes.

"Get a little confidence, and then they'll be able to play up to their ability. Our linebackers - both inside and outside - showed improvement. We had decent pass coverage, and our front line held their own."

Howard, who racked up 253 yards of total offense, completed a second TD pass to Hines, and the LSU commitment rushed for a 37-yard score. Hutch Swilley, Charlie Payton, Sam Altman, and John L. St. Pierre each added a TD run.

"We were sloppy at times," STM offensive coordinator Shane Savoie said. "I was frustrated at times, but really pleased at times, especially with some stuff we were able to do in the run game."

Howard finished with 151 yards passing and 83 yards rushing on five attempts.

"I thought Walker played a headsy game," Hightower said. "Everything wasn't like how we drew it up on the board, but he played smart. I was pleased with our running backs, both in pass protection and when they were toting the ball. We had some good things, some bright spots."

The Cougars take a road trip to Monroe next week to tangle with Neville (3-0).

"It's good to win, but there is work to be done," Howard said. "I thought we played hard. We have to get our technique correct play-after-play, and do the small things right.

"Our defense won the game for us tonight. Jack Hines, Jackson Guerin and Jack Stefanski have really stepped up at the skill positions. Eddie Martina has stepped up on the offensive line. We're taking it one game at a time. We have a big one next week."