BOURG – The Assumption Mustangs offensive backfield stampeded through the Ellender Patriots defense on Thursday night in District 7-4A action at South Terrebonne Memorial Stadium.
Assumption running backs Javis Stewart and Fred Diggs combined for 238 yards and four touchdowns and the Mustangs earned a 40-7 victory.
“We started slow. Plus there were challenges for us on our campus, and then playing on a short week,” Mustangs coach Anthony Paine said. “Hats off to the kids. We did what we needed to do to get the job done.”
“We started the second quarter 0-0. I’m feeling good about the way our kids are playing,” Patriots coach David McCormick said. “But Assumption’s a good football team. That big bruising back (Stewart) they’ve got, he’s going to take a toll on you as they game goes on.”
Both defenses were stout in the first quarter.
Ellender (1-6 overall, 0-3 in district) halted the Mustangs initial drive at the 16-yard line, while Assumption (6-1 overall, 4-0 in district) forced the Patriots to punt on their first two drives.
Assumption broke the scoreless drought early in the second quarter. A 10-play drive culminated with Diggs (17 carries, 100 yards, 2 TDs) bulldozing 15 yards up the middle for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead.
The next Patriots possession ended with a snap going over the punter’s head and out of the end zone for a safety. Assumption capitalized on the ensuing good position. Quarterback Tijah Parker (7-of-12, 63 yards, TD) hit Jayden Tyler on slant for a 20-yard touchdown. Josh Ratcliff made the point after.
Patriots quarterback Ryan Williams (3-of-10, 19 yards, 2 INTs) was intercepted on the next drive by Mustangs safety Shawn Hall, who returned it to the 26-yard line. Two plays later, Diggs dashed for a 15-yard touchdown and Assumption took a 21-0 lead into halftime.
“Defensively, we had a good plan. We started off slow and gave up some movement,” Paine said. “Ellender has such dangerous athletes. We knew if we stopped them from getting going, we’d have a good chance.”
“Offensively, we keep shooting ourselves in the foot. That’s been the story all season,” McCormick said. “We put ourselves behind the eight ball with penalties and allowing first downs. Our defense was on the field almost the whole first half.”
Assumption’s opening second half drive went 58 yards in nine plays and was capped by Stewart (17 carries, 138 yards, 2 TDs) plowing 5 yards for a touchdown.
After Mustangs corner back Trevon Bozeman intercepted Williams, Stewart capped the following drive with a 29-yard rumble for a touchdown.
On Assumption’s last drive, Stewart steamrolled 14 yards before fumbling at the goal. However, offensive lineman Kent Breaux recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
“Javis and Fred don’t get what they get without the guys up front. Hats off to the offensive line,” Paine said. “We moved the ball up and down the field, threw when we needed to. Quick passing game has really been helping us out.”
Ellender did go away quietly, moving the ball 78 yards on its final drive. On the last play of the game, Drake Billiot tossed a 27-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Parfait. Man Pham made the PAT.
“We finished strong. The offense didn’t quit and put a drive together in the end to get in the end zone,” McCormick said. “It felt good that the kids are still working hard at the point. That drive is something to build on.”
Both squads remain in district play next week as Assumption host Vandebilt Catholic and Ellender travels to Morgan City in Friday night contests.
“We’ve got to shake this one off,” McCormick said. “It’s all about having good practices. If you have a good week of practice, it’ll show in the game.”
“Huge game next week,” Paine said. “It’s big in determining who wins the district. We’ve got to start fast and finish strong and we have to remember what got us to this point.”
ST. JAMES 43,
HAYNES ACADEMY 7
At Joe Yenni Stadium on the East Jefferson High School campus on Thursday night, the Wildcats led 16-0 after the first quarter and 36-0 at halftime and after the third quarter and improved to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in District 10-3A action.
The Wildcats racked up just over 300 yards of total offense and were led by quarterback Shamar Smith, who threw for 186 yards on 8-of-11 passing to go with four touchdowns.
Leading receivers for the Wildcats included Jonathan Williams (3-69, TD), Shazz Preston (TD), Logan Gravois (TD) and K’ron Williams (TD).
Sean LeBeouf also had five carries for 57 yards and a score on the ground for St. James and Gravois also added a rushing touchdown.
Haynes (1-5 overall, 0-2 in district) scored with 5 seconds to play in the game.
Compiled by sports editor Kelly McElroy.