September 10, 2012
Southern Lab and Zachary High went into their Sunday football game with modest expectations.
Both schools lost their regularly scheduled week one opponents in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac and scheduled an impromptu game late last week.
Neither coach expected Zachary to win by a 65-40 margin in the game played at ZHS’ Bronco Stadium.
“I’m glad we played,” Zachary coach Neil Weiner said. “I never expected to score 65 points. I think both teams saw some good things and some things they need to work on, which is what a first game is supposed to do.”
The two teams combined for 930 total yards, including 251 yards passing for Zachary and 278 for Southern Lab.
Class 5A Zachary scored 30 points in the first quarter and added 21 in the second quarter to claim a 51-18 halftime lead over 1A Southern Lab.
ZHS’ Trey Hills finished 13-of-18 for 211 passing yards and five touchdowns. Kentrell Fisher had three catches for 109 yards and two TDs for the Broncos, while Donald Gage added three catches for 65 yards and 2 TDs. Boston Scott had 66 rushing yards on six carries for the winners.
Deonte Shorts passed for 278 yards for SLHS, completing 16-of-35 passes with four TDs. Curtland Williams finished with seven catches for 103 yards and two TDs for the Kittens. Juan Smith Jr. (three catches, 71 yards) and Titus Nelson (11 carries, 81 yards, 1 TD) were other leaders for Southern Lab.
“There were times when I thought we looked like a good young team that is going to be good sooner instead of later,” SLHS coach Nick Mitchell said. “And then there were times when we didn’t look like that. I’m glad we got to play. Now it’s time for us to go back to work.”
The unexpected time off brought by Isaac was anything but a holiday for two local coaches, Port Allen’s Guy Blanchard and Catholic High’s Dale Weiner.
Blanchard was hospitalized for three-and-a-half days, starting Wednesday with an infection that caused a high fever. Weiner, the father of Zachary’s Neil Weiner, cut his leg with a chain saw while working to clean up his yard after the storm.
“The doctors still don’t know for sure what it was, but their best guess is that it started with a viral infection and some bacteria,” Blanchard said. “They gave me 18 bags of antibiotics. I feel much better now.
“And I can’t say enough about my coaches, family and friends. I turned things over to coach (Leonard) Parker and told him to handle things, and he did. When I went to practice today, there were three days of practice plans in place. My mom and sisters took care of everything else for me and my family.”
Weiner also returned to practice at Catholic High on Monday, after missing a Saturday practice.
“I was trying to take care of some limbs in my backyard,” Weiner explained. “The chain saw got caught in my shorts and cut a big gash out of (my) thigh. People have been asking me how many stitches I got, and to be honest with you, I don’t know.
“I hated to miss practice on Saturday, but our other coaches handled it fine. It was good to be back out there today. I thought we had a good practice.”
- Central High running back-quarterback Jake Myer and Istrouma defensive tackle Chris Lucas will be sidelined for different amounts of time after being taken to the hospital during Saturday’s game at Central.
Myer could be sidelined three to four weeks with a dislocated elbow, according to Central coach Sid Edwards.
“Thank goodness he didn’t tear anything,” Edwards said. “He’s a tough kid, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back sooner rather than later.”
Istrouma coach Justin Joseph said Lucas was suffering from dehydration and was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
“He (Lucas) has to go to the doctor tomorrow, and we’re hoping to get him back as soon as possible after that,” Joseph said.
Practice makes perfect
Most coaches stress the importance of special teams, but Livonia High proved it on Sunday.
The Wildcats, now ranked eighth in Class 3A, took a 7-6 road victory over 5A Live Oak on the strength of an extra point kicked by Omar Carbajal. The kick by Carbajal followed a 3-yard TD run by quarterback Kerry Savoy in the first half.
“Extra points and special teams are something we practice every day,” Livonia coach David Brewerton said. “Sometimes, you can take them for granted. But they can win a game, which is what happened for us.”