COVINGTON — About the only drama during Friday night's game between St. Paul's and Ponchatoula was whether the chain gang could get the down markers correct after each play.
Of course the way St. Paul's was moving the ball on offense, it would have been hard for just about anyone to keep up.
Quarterback Jack Mashburn ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns and threw for 221 yards and two more scores as the Wolves dismantled the Green Wave 72-7 before a packed house at Hunter Stadium.
Mashburn had scoring runs of 8, 1 and 1 yards as well as passing TDs of 35 and 13 yards to lead St. Paul's (4-3, 4-0 District 6-5A).
Ironically, St. Paul's started the scoring on defense when Mica'h Crockett blocked a Ponchatoula punt out of the end zone on the Wave's first possession for a safety and a 2-0 lead.
After the free kick put the Wolves at their own 46-yard line, St. Paul's drove 54 yards in six plays, capping the drive with a 25-yard touchdown run by Mitchell Smith for a 9-0 lead.
After stopping Ponchatoula on a fourth down, St. Paul's drove 60 yards on five plays and took a 16-0 lead on Mashburn's 1-yard sneak. The drive featured two runs and two passes by Mashburn to set up the score.
St. Paul's capped their first quarter when Mashburn ran in from 10 yards out to make it 23-0 with 2:03 left in the period. He again ran twice and threw twice on the four-play, 50-yard drive.
Ponchatoula got its only score of the night when highly touted quarterback T.J. Finley hit Cameron Gresham for a 41-yard TD pass with 45 seconds left in the first quarter to cut the lead to 23-7.
But St. Paul's would not have anything to do with a comeback, scoring three more times in the second quarter and another three times in the third quarter.
The second quarter saw Smith rumble in again, this time from 11 yards out to make it 30-7 with six minutes left until halftime.
After a Ponchatoula punt, Mashburn hit Nicholas Stanton for a leaping 35-yard TD to put St. Paul's up 37-7. The Wolves capped the first half with a Mashburn 1-yard run for a score with 2:08 left to make it 44-7.
The starters stayed in the game for the majority of the third quarter, with Mashburn hitting Will Robinson with a 13-yard touchdown strike to make it 51-7. The senior Wolves QB finished his night with another 1-yard scoring run with 4:11 left in the third.
Both coaches then substituted freely, allowing several junior varsity players to get playing time in the blowout.
St. Paul's still didn't slow down, however, as backup quarterback Caleb Frost had an 8-yard TD run with 2:42 left in the third quarter to make it 65-7. Frost then finished the scoring with 37-yard TD pass to Danny Sears with 5:20 remaining in the game to account for the final score.
St. Paul's finished with 539 yards of offense — 294 rushing and 245 passing. Nine receivers caught passes for the Wolves, with Robinson leading the way with four catches for 47 yards and a score.
Besides Mashburn's huge rushing effort, Smith finished with 64 yards and the two touchdowns.
For Ponchatoula, Finley — a junior who has already committed to play for LSU — threw for 236 yards but was just 16 for 37 through the air. The Green Wave QB was plagued by numerous dropped passes by his receivers and timing was an issue all night for the Greenies.
Ponchatoula only had 68 yards rushing, with Tyjae Spears leading the way with 36 yards on nine carries.
St. Paul's travels to face Slidell in a battle of district unbeatens next week while Ponchatoula (2-4, 0-3) returns home to face Fontainebleau.