WATSON — The Live Oak Eagles defense dominated and the offense was opportunistic enough as Live Oak blanked the Opelousas Tigers 16-0 Thursday night at Live Oak.
Live Oak (2-1) led 3-0 at halftime and the defense set up two touchdowns in the second half to provide a comfortable margin. Meanwhile, the defense held Opelousas (0-2) to just 175 total yards.
The only score of the first half came at the 2:51 mark of the second quarter when Live Oak kicker Landon Ratcliff capped a methodical 13-play, 67-yard drive with a 45-yard field goal. All of the yardage that was gained on the drive was on the ground as the Eagles used four ball carriers to keep the drive going.
The Tigers countered with a drive to the Eagles 15, but senior linebacker Branson McCoy intercepted a Lawrence Pitre pass at the 11-yard line to end the threat and preserve the Eagles 3-0 lead going into halftime.
The Eagles took advantage of a short field to score quickly after halftime.
On the first Opelousas drive, Aidan Saunders intercepted a Pitre pass and returned it 22 yards to the Tigers 29. Three plays later, Brock Magee completed his first pass of the game — a 29-yard strike to Chase Jones — to put the Eagles up 10-0 three minutes into the third quarter.
After Opelousas failed on a fourth-down play early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles capitalized on the next play with a 51-yard strike from Magee to CJ Davis to give the Eagles a 16-0 advantage.
How it was won
When a team pitches a shutout, the simple answer is the defense. The Eagles intercepted three passes and stopped Opelousas on fourth down three times. They held the Tigers to just 39 yards in the second half.
The complement to the defense was a Live Oak rushing game that wasn’t as efficient as it was last week when they rolled up 327 yards, but their 154 yards this week was enough to consistently maintain possession and keep the ball away from Opelousas.
Player of the game
The entire defense. It was a total team effort to get the shutout. Branson McCoy, Aidan Saunders, and Christian Dickerson intercepted passes and linemen and linebackers pressured the Opelousas passers all night, forcing errant throws.
They said it
Blane Westmoreland, Live Oak Coach: “The defense played lights out. We did a good job of keeping them in front of us all night. Opelousas is a well coached team with a lot of team speed. We have to tackle a little better, but we rallied there in the second half. Hats off to our kids and our defensive staff.”
- Live Oak has not given up a point since the first series of the game last week vs. Kentwood.
- Live Oak begins District 4-5A play next week when they travel to Zachary.