As St. Michael coach Paul Varnado walked off the field at Doug Williams Stadium on Friday night, his back never felt lighter — it was the first time the Warriors had beaten Lutcher in school history.
St. Michael never trailed in the district 6-4A opener against the Bulldogs as they took the game 18-8 with the deficit only slightly closing after a late score from Lutcher.
“We believed and that’s what matters,” Varnado said with a smile as his team celebrated to the chants of “6-0” raining down from the student section. Every game is important, but we earmarked this one.”
The Warriors needed that confidence in a game that felt closer than the scoreboard led on. St. Michael totaled 279 yards on offense, but 167 of those yards came on just three plays, including what would become the game-winning score on a 77-yard touchdown run by running back Matthew Butler.
St. Michael’s quarterback Jeff Vaccaro was the only other Warrior to crack the end zone when he pushed his way through on a 9-yard run in the first quarter.
LUSHER 48, BEN FRANKLIN 0: Lusher racked up nearly 300 yards of offense in the first half of its blowout of Ben Franklin at Brees Family Field on Friday.
The Lions scored 35 points on 299 of its 342 total yards before halftime. Sophomore quarterback Eli Poche went 7-for-10 for two touchdowns in the first half before adding another TD on his only pass of the third quarter, and senior Joshua Barney carried the ball nine times for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
A block-in-the-back penalty negated Barney’s touchdown run of 46 yards on the second play from scrimmage, allowing Ari Broussard to punch it in from 1 yard out to end the drive, but he came back on the next for a 7-yarder. His second came on a 23-yard rush in the second quarter.
Poche threw touchdowns of 24 and 11 yards to Diego Griffin on the Lions’ last play of the first half and first of the second, respectively.
Lusher scored a touchdown on every possession until the starters were pulled after Poche’s third touchdown..
The special teams unit put up the Lions’ last score of the game when Eric Scott picked up a blocked punt and ran 6 yards into the end zone. On defense, Lusher held Ben Franklin to 69 rushing yards, allowed no completions and sacked sophomore quarterback Shiloh Kirksey seven times.
LAKE AREA NEW TECH 18, J.S. CLARK 7: At Pan American Stadium, the Jaguars defense stymied a late rally.
Lake Area New Tech (2-3) shook off an early-fourth-quarter turnover and put the game away when quarterback Ricky Jones tossed a 6-yard pass to tight end Austin Herring with 5:21 to play.
“We are really young,” Lake Area coach Derrick Lewis said. “The majority of our team is made up of ninth- and 10th-graders, which makes me optimistic for the future. We had a lot of costly mistakes and it comes from the youth were playing. Once we clean that up, we will be OK.”
The Bulldogs (1-5) found the end zone on a bruising 5-yard run by sophomore Mekaill Harris. They were within six points with 10:10 left, but a late interception on the next drive sealed their fate. Harris finished with 33 yards and a touchdown on nine carries. Johnny Myers added 125 passing yards but threw two interceptions.
In the first half, the Bulldogs couldn’t manage much offense but racked up 140 penalty yards. They had more penalty yards through the game’s first three quarters than total yards.
Jones scored the game’s first touchdown on a 15-yard scamper up the middle, the only score of the first half for either team. Jones totaled 263 all-purpose yards, including a 41-yard touchdown strike to receiver Cyron Sutton.