THIBODAUX — Heading into Friday night’s annual HTV-Lions Club Bayou vs. River Region All-Star Showdown, Vandebilt Catholic quarterback Elijah McGuire’s future was uncertain as he works to become academically qualified.
But as he has shown all season, there are no questions about his athletica ability.
The 6-foot, 190-pound speedster rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries to lead the Bayou Region All-Stars to a 34-0 victory over the River Parishes squad at Nicholls State’s John L. Guidry Stadium.
It was the most lopsided outcome in the 13 years of the annual showcase, the seventh to pit the players from River parishes of St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist Parishes against players from Bayou parishes Terrebonne, Lafourche and Assumption. It was the second shutout in the game’s history, the first since move to the River-Bayou format. With the victory, the Bayou Region now leads the series 4-3.
And the outcome was determined early. The Bayou All-Stars scored on their first two possessions and had three touchdowns in the first half. McGuire, the Bayou team’s starting quarterback, had two of those, scoring on a 25-yard run and a 1-yard run. The defense added a score in the third quarter, one of two turnovers on the night. Wilshawn Jones of Ellender returned a fumble recovery 82 yards for a TD.
The River All-Stars struggled offensively all night. East St. John quarterback Leonard Davis led with 105 yards passing on five completions. Deamphrany Davis had three catches for 71 yards. St. Charles Catholic’s Luke Jackson had an interception for the defense.
But in the early going, at least, McGuire stood out. Under his direction, the Bayou All-Stars took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards on nine plays. On the first play from scrimmage, McGuire cut to the right side and up the sideline for a 19- yard score.
The Bayou team took over on its own 12-yard line on its next series. But McGuirebroke free for a 48-yard gain to the River 40. Three plays later, Assumption’s Dejuan Oliver ran in from the 7 for a 14-0 Bayou lead.
Both teams mired down for a bit in the second quarter until the Bayou All-Stars stepped up on defense. With 1:19 remaining, Acosta hauled in a tipped pass thrown by Hahnville quarterback Easton Melancon. From the River Region 45, the Bayou All-Stars needed just five plays to score, thanks to a 35-yard pass from McGuire to Ralph Singleton of Ellender. Two plays later, McGuire dove in from the 1 as time expired in the first half.
The Bayou added a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter, the first was a 1-yard run by Davis following a bad snap on a River Region punt. The ball sailed over the head of punter Vial and was recovered at the 1 by Acosta. From there Davis ran in for the touchdown. The Bayou’s final score came when Jones scooped up a fumbled snap by the River team and returned it 82 yards for the score.