West Feliciana and the University High started slowly on offense Friday night, but the Cubs eventually hit their stride and cruised to a 35-6 victory on homecoming night.
“I think it took them a little while to get into rhythm, but they finally did,” Cubs first-year coach Andy Martin said. “And once we got into rhythm, I could see the confidence growing. That’s all it is — it’s a confidence thing.”
Neither team got on the scoreboard until the bottom of the first quarter, when quarterback Tanner Lawson and the Cubs (6-3, 5-1 District 7-3A) drove down the field, finding wide receiver Trevor Evans several times. That set up a 29-yard touchdown pass to running back Derrick Graham Jr., giving the Cubs a 6-0 lead.
The Saints (2-7, 2-4) answered two series later when quarterback Bennett Clement and his supporting cast were much more productive.
Clement was a force in the run game, punching in a 2-yard touchdown to cap a 70-yard drive.
It wasn’t until late in the second quarter that the Cubs started to blow the game open.
With less than a minute left, Lawson tossed a 50-yard touchdown to Austin Ausberry.
West Feliciana then fumbled on its next series, and U-High defender Joshua Slaughter returned the ball near the goal line. Despite a penalty, the Cubs managed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ausberry. A double reverse pass from Jardin Gilbert to Tyler Macloud on a 2-point conversion sent U-High into the locker room with a comfortable 21-6 halftime lead.
Jackson Fazio replaced Clement at the start of the second half because of a calf strain. West Feliciana fumbled the ball shortly thereafter, setting up yet another U-High touchdown.
The Saints offense made it just outside of the red zone on the next possession, but a turnover on downs ended their chance at a score.
Gilbert later made an interception in the end zone at the end of the third quarter.
U-High ran a rotating quarterback system from that point, and it took no time at all for Christian Ard to lead the offense into opposing territory before Lawson connected with Gilbert on a 35-yard touchdown pass.
West Feliciana’s passing game continued to struggle as time went on.
From then on, the Cubs focused on running the clock out to secure the win.
Saints acting coach Josh Laborde credited the Cubs in all three phases of the game, saying his team’s quarterback switch “took the wind” out of the team’s sails.
“They did a great job of controlling the ball, and their defense made stops when they needed to. ... Our defense had to stay on the field and just got worn out over time,” Laborde said.