METAIRIE — When last saddled with the state’s No. 1 seed in the Class 5A state playoffs in 2009, the Rummel Raiders barely slipped past Captain Shreve 10-3 in the bidistrict round.
Rummel made sure there would be no such duplication Saturday afternoon at sunny Joe Yenni Stadium.
Behind a flawless passing performance by 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior quarterback Damian Williams, the No. 1-ranked Raiders bolted to a 42-0 halftime advantage en route to eliminating Lafayette High 49-7.
Rummel (10-0) advances to the regionals against Dutchtown (8-2) Friday at Joe Yenni at 7 p.m. The Lions, seeded No. 32, had their season end with a 5-6 mark.
“A great first-round effort,” said Rummel coach Jay Roth of his team’s showing. “We played sound, assignment football.”
Williams completed 9 of 9 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to rushing scores of 1 and 5 yards. He connected on middle screens, slip screens, go routes, crossing patterns and deep slants. His only problem came on the goal line in the first quarter with Rummel leading 7-0 when he had to handle a premature snap that almost eluded his grasp on fourth down.
“The center just heard a different word,” said Williams. “I saw the snap coming but I was lucky I happened to be looking. Then I just tried as hard as I could to get over (the goal line).”
Earlier, Williams’ 60-yard pass completion to Keith Fulton led to a 16-yard scoring rush by Fulton at the 9:03 mark. A 66-yard Williams pass to a wide open Chris Ricks then set up the quarterback’s short scoring blast and a 14-0 lead at 4:40.
On the second play of the second quarter, Williams hit Steven Dunbar from 10 yards for a 21-0 lead that lasted just 11 seconds.
On the Lions’ next series, quarterback Colin Comeaux was intercepted by Rummel’s Dwayne Eugene who returned the pick 23 yards for a score and a commanding 28-0 lead.
Williams would later score from 5 yards, a touchdown set up by his 39-yard completion to Dunbar down to the Lions’ 15-yard line.
Rummel closed out the second period on yet another high note when Williams tossed a soft slip screen pass to Ricks who sped 71 yards for a 42-0 lead at intermission.
“We knew Rummel was a big, physical, well-coached team coming in,” said Lafayette coach Jay Domengeaux. “They just whipped us up front.
“We didn’t help ourselves by dropping two touchdown passes but that came well into the game. Rummel is a hard team to mimic with a scout team at practice.”
A 76-yard, third-period drive that ended on a 9-yard scoring rush by freshman Israel Tucker rounded out the Raiders’ scoring. Rummel did not commit a turnover nor did the Raiders punt.
Lafayette scored with 2:28 remaining on a 2-yard run by Aaron Woods at the end of an 86-yard drive. Woods gained 77 yards on 24 carries.
After its opening scare in 2009, Rummel reached the state finals, falling to West Monroe 30-0.
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