PLAQUEMINE — A swarming Central defense held a potent Plaquemine offense in check throughout the game securing a 21-12 victory on Friday in what was a surprisingly low-scoring affair after both teams scored 40-plus points in their victories last week.
Senior running back Pierce Patterson led the way for the Wildcats in rushing for 123 yards and a TD on 26 carries. Patterson also converted a 2-point conversion in the third quarter. Freshman quarterback Jonathan Swift added two rushing touchdowns.
Junior running back Kobe Major was the Green Devils' main source of yards, accounting for 115 of Plaquemine’s 162 total yards.
After being held to less than 100 total yards of offense in the first half, the Wildcats (3-0) leaned on their rushing attack against what became a seemingly tired Plaquemine defense late in the third quarter.
The Green Devils (1-2) threw two costly interceptions in the fourth quarter that led to Central scoring two touchdowns putting the game out of hand.
The momentum heavily swung in Central’s favor after it completed a 99-yard touchdown drive after stopping Plaquemine on its own 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter, something both coaches pointed to.
Patterson carried the load for the Wildcats offensively starting in the third quarter, ripping off three runs for 15 or more yards. Central was able to get a push at the line of scrimmage that wasn't there in the first half.
Patterson’s second effort on runs was also important, as he broke arm tackles multiple times late in the fourth quarter.
“I’m really proud of the way our guys fought throughout the game, but that 99-yard drive was just a killer for us,” Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano said. “We made a lot of little mistakes here and there and those hurt us, but it was that drive that really did us in.”
“I think the big thing tonight was overcoming adversity,” Central coach Sid Edwards said. “They got to our 2-inch line, and we held them out. And then following that with a 99-yard touchdown drive, that right there, those two series were the story of the game.”
A huge call came early in the second half when Plaquemine linebacker Roy Cordova was ejected from the game for fighting. The play occurred after a kickoff, and Cordova was at the midst of a group of Central and Plaquemine players, but the officials gave Cordova the flag and he was forced to sit out the remainder of the game.
Cordova is one of the senior leaders for the Green Devils defense, and there was a noticeable difference in Central’s ability to run the ball following his departure.