Lutcher pulls away with second-half explosion

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND  Lutcher's Sully Martin is surrounded by a trio of Plaquemine defenders after catching a pass during the second half Friday night. The Bulldogs won 34-7.
Advocate staff photo by HEATHER McCLELLAND Lutcher's Sully Martin is surrounded by a trio of Plaquemine defenders after catching a pass during the second half Friday night. The Bulldogs won 34-7.

Lutcher pulls away with second-half explosion

LUTCHER — Deamphrany Davis took a short second-half kickoff for Lutcher, found a seam to his left and exploded 70 yards for a touchdown.

And just like that a game that was dominated by Plaquemine everywhere but the scoreboard in the first half swung Lutcher’s way on Friday night.

Davis’ TD broke what had been a tie score and started off a dominant second half for Lutcher, which completed an unbeaten regular season with a 34-7 win at Bulldogs Stadium.

It’s the fourth untied and undefeated season in school history.

Ruston Matherne passed for 208 of his 235 yards after halftime, including touchdowns of 77 and 46 yards to Spencer Roussel as the Bulldogs (9-0, 6-0) swept District 6-4A for a second year in a row.

But upstart Plaquemine (6-4, 4-1) didn’t make it easy in what was a more competitive game than the score indicated. On Plaquemine’s first possession, Myron Jack’s 51-yard touchdown on option pitch capped a 98-yard drive after the Green Devils botched the the opening kickoff. The drive set the tone for a first half dominated by PHS, which outgained Lutcher 172-52 in the first half.

“I want to give credit to Plaquemine,” Lutcher coach Tim Detillier said. “They took it to us. The first half was a war, and they had the better end of the war.”

Starting with Davis’ kickoff return, things changed. Lutcher outgained Plaquemine 291-119 and dominated the game behind Matherne, who completed 12 of 18 passes and added touchdown runs of 32 and 19 yards. They were Roussel’s only two catches of the game.

“I really thought the defense played well in the first half,” said Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano, who said his defense was caught in straight man-to-man on both long TD passes.

“I thought our defense did a hell of a job holding them to seven points in the first half. I just wish we could have moved the ball better on offense.”

The Green Devils were hurt by 97 yards in penalties — one negating a 71-yard touchdown on a first-half punt return by Hakeem Deggs as the Bulldogs dominated special teams. Lutcher’s Sully Martin averaged 43.8 yards per punt while Plaquemine managed 22.4 yards a punt.

A 14-yard Plaquemine punt set up Matherne’s 32-yard touchdown run on a keeper on a cut-read option that tied it at 7-7 in the second quarter. The Bulldogs routinely gained yards on punt exchanges, making up for the disparity yardage. Add in the kickoff return to start the second half and Lutcher dominated special teams.

“We thought we had the upper hand in the kicking game, and we needed to take advantage,” Detillier said. “And I thought we did that.”

Those details are a big reason why Lutcher dominates the district, Distefano said.

“We knew we couldn’t beat ourselves against a great program like this,” he said. “Hats off to Lutcher. “That’s a good football team, a good program. But we can walk away knowing that we can play at this level. We just have to not make so many mistakes.”