Black Knights linebacker Deandre Darville of East Ascension recovered a fumble, made a late interception and had a key tackle on a fake punt attempt lead the Black Knights over the Rough Riders 17-13 Sunday in the the 12th annual U.S. Army Red Stick Bowl at BREC's Olympia Stadium.
“He stood out throughout the week,” Black Knights coach Chad Mahaffey of University High said of Darville. “He’s a super instinctive player.”
The game began with coach David Brewerton of Livonia calling for an onside-kick that was successfully recovered by his Rough Riders.
“We call that the Flying Mahaffey,” Brewerton said. “It was an onside kick to the short side of the field, (defensive backs) coach Cooter Mansur put it in this week. I guess we should have worked on a few more other things other than the onside kick.”
But the Black Knights kept the Rough Riders from scoring.
D’Vante Dotson of U-High ran 3 yards for a touchdown on a reverse to give the Black Knights a 7-0 lead.
The touchdown was preceded by a 30-yard missed field goal by St. John’s Tyler St. Germain, but the Rough Riders were flagged for an illegal defense, keeping the drive alive.
Later, St. Germain connected on a 35-yard field goal after Rough Riders’ quarterback Jarrad Hayes was intercepted by Catholic’s Euclid Michel. It was the first of three interceptions thrown by Hayes, a Southern commitment.
Hayes and the Rough Riders came back to score 13 straight points and take a 13-10 lead into the locker room.
Hayes led a 16-play, 78-yard drive that culminated in Port Allen’s Morris Miller scoring from 5 yards out.
After the teams exchanged punts, the Black Knights were driving when Central’s Donnie Lewis Jr. intercepted a pass thrown by East Ascension quarterback Layne Trahan and returned it 71-yards for a touchdown.
“I think the Lewis kid from Central is a heck of a ballplayer,” Brewerton said. “He’s got tremendous instincts. Hayes did a good job of running the offense, and I was impressed with some guys up front as well. (Morris Miller) I thought had a good game, too.”
To begin the second half, Brewerton called for another trick play when the Rough Riders faked a punt at their own 47-yard line. But it was sniffed out by Darville, who made the stop in the backfield.
Three possessions later, the Black Knights finally cashed in on the short field position they’d been receiving all game. Trahan found Dutchtown’s Cameron Joshua open for a 12-yard touchdown pass to take a 17-13 lead.
With less than four minutes remaining, Hayes took the field seeking to lead his team on a game-winning touchdown, but Darville stepped in front of a pass down the middle for an interception.
“I just wanted to have fun with these guys,” Darville said. “I was just staying focused and reading my Q’s. I just wanted to make a name for myself, and just try and have fun.”
The Black Knights picked up a first down from there and ran out the clock.