It's been a trying high school football season, but the Comeaux Spartans were all smiles following their regular-season finale against the Rayne Wolves on Friday night.
Comeaux recorded more than 350 rushing yards while scoring the final 18 points of the game en route to a 32-21 nondistrict win over Rayne — its first triumph of the season.
"I can't say enough about our seniors," Comeaux coach Doug Dotson said. "When things are going rough, the easiest thing to do is to jump off the ship, but the eight seniors we have that elected to stay and fight are the guys that I'm so proud of and so happy for."
Comeaux got on the scoreboard first at the 7:50 mark of the first quarter when Sharod Kelly scored on a 20-yard touchdown run and added a successful 2-point conversion run, which gave them a quick 8-0 lead.
Rayne scored on the next possession when Ron Charles scored on a 32-yard touchdown run, which trimmed the deficit to 8-7 at the 5:58 mark of the first quarter.
The Wolves grabbed their first lead at the 2:02 mark of the opening frame when Darian Chevalier scored on a 6-yard touchdown run, giving them a 14-8 advantage.
The Spartans tied things at the 9:53 mark of the second quarter, courtesy of a 39-yard touchdown run by Sean Malveaux, which made it 14-14. Rayne regained the advantage with 5:17 before halftime when Bleyton Francis scored on a 2-yard plunge, which gave the Wolves a 21-14 lead.
That turned out to be the last points of the game for Rayne.
"They (Comeaux) outplayed us and were more physical than us," Rayne coach Kaine Guidry said. "We did do some good things on offense in the first half and had the lead at halftime, but we didn't rally to the ball or do anything of the things that we've done most of the year. But Comeaux just outplayed us and they deserved to win."
Comeaux got a 40-yard field goal from Gustaf Nienaber right before the end of the half to cut the Rayne lead to 21-17 at halftime. The Spartans took the lead for good at the 10:17 mark of the third quarter when Kelly scored on a 66-yard touchdown run, before also running in a successful 2-point conversion, giving them a 25-21 lead.
The Spartans, who controlled the football for 9:00 of the third quarter, clinched it with 3:44 left in the game when Malveaux kept on a read-option and raced it 93 yards for a touchdown to seal the elusive win.
"It was a great read by Sean," Dotson said. "He made the right decision, and he made such a great play that he faked me out."
Malveaux rushed for over 130 yards with two touchdowns, while Kelly had a monster outing, rushing for 195 yards and two scores.
"I can't say enough about Sharod," Dotson said. "He was playing on both sides of the football, and he was just carrying guys with him whenever we gave him the ball. He's one of those seniors that I'm just so proud of tonight."
In a losing cause for Rayne, Charles rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown.
With the victory, Comeaux ends its season with an overall record of 1-5, while Rayne will enter the Class 4A playoffs with a record of 3-5.
"We knew Comeaux was going to be difficult tonight," Guidry said. "They may have been 0-5, but they play in one of the best districts in the state, they have some talented athletes, and they're well-coached.
"I think our guys will bounce back. We're just in a situation where we have to get some guys healthy and play more disciplined, but these guys don't quit and I think we'll be fine."