Episcopal put Catholic High of Pointe Coupee in a lot of second-and-long and third-and-long situations Friday in Baton Rouge.
For a wing-T running attack, those can be major hurdles. Coupled with its offensive line winning in the trenches, Episcopal took a 42-12 win.
“Two things in football, you got to block and tackle and we lost the game blocking and tackling tonight,” said Vinnie Bullera, Catholic-PC coach.
“We got beat up front and we didn’t tackle well.”
Episcopal’s Ethan Carmouche finished with 160 yards on 12 carries and three touchdowns, two scores coming in the second quarter to turn a 14-6 game into a 28-6 halftime lead.
“We lacked our trademark tenacity in the second quarter,” Bullera said.
“We knew we were going to have to get some stops,” he said. “We needed to improve our tackling and our defensive line play tonight.
“We didn’t feel like we could go tit for tat (with Episcopal). We needed to get the ball and control the clock.”
Catholic-PC (3-2) seeks to defend its district title this week traveling to Sacred Heart of Ville Platte to open 5-1A play.
“Sacred Heart is an excellent football team. They will use the pass,” Bullera said.
“We have a lot of work to do, things to clean up before we go to Ville Platte.”
Episcopal (4-0) took a 7-0 lead on its first possession of the game on Thomas D’Armond’s 13-yard run.
Catholic-PC came back in its next possession, led off by Connor Kimball’s 30-ysard kickoff return to the 50.
Hunter Beard got 15 yards on two carries before quarterback Hayden Elliott rolled out and broke free for a 33-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion try was stopped.
Episcopal made it 14-6 with 1:58 left in the first quarter when quarterback Lewis Ward connected with Reid Chauvin on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Adam Cifreo’s interception for Catholic-PC at the Hornet 6 killed Episcopal’s next offensive threat.
But the Knights held the Hornets and forced a punt that D’Armond returned to the Hornet 15. On its first play, Carmouche scored for a 21-6 lead.
Carmouche’s next touchdown, a 27-yard run, was set up by a 53-yard pass catch by D’Armond to the Hornet 27 and a 28-6 halftime lead.
Carmouche scored his final touchdown on a 1-yard run with 7:15 left in the third quarter.
Kimball prevented Carmouche from scoring earlier in the possession with the Knight broke loose on a 36-yard run but was dragged down at the Hornet 18.
Episcopal’s last touchdown came on a 60-yard run by D’Armond with 4:38 left in the third quarter for a 42-6 lead. D’Armond finished the game with 118 yards on 10 carries.
Catholic-PC got its second touchdown on a 9-play, 60-yard drive in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Connor Achee carried five times in the drive, capped by his 7-yard scoring run.
The Hornets threatened in the final seconds as Achee had a pair of 12-yard carries, followed by Adam Beatty’s pair of 12-yard runs.
Achee, who finished the game with 60 yards on 11 carries, had one more 9-yard run to the Knight 21 as time ran out.
Beatty also finished with 40 yards on 4 carries.
THIS WEEK: Catholic-PC opens District 5-1A play on the road at Sacred Heart of Ville Platte. Last year, Matthew Langlois’ dramatic 64-yard interception return for the winning touchdown, 28-22, created a Hornet legend. The two teams met again in the first round of the Division IV playoffs, with Catholic-PC again winning 42-6. Sacred Heart (4-1) is coming off a 57-0 win over Mamou.