THIBODAUX — The E.D. White Catholic defense led the way in a 48-22 win over Donaldsonville High in a District 9-3A opener at EDW’s Harvey Peltier Stadium on Friday night.
The Cardinal defense forced five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles) that led to 24 points. Those plays helped EDW take control of the game in the second half.
E. D. White coach Kyle Lasseigne said the defense changed the game’s momentum. Rushing for 292 yards, wasn’t bad for the Cardinals, either.
“It was a key to the game, we knew (Donaldsonville) had some weapons and some athletes and we knew when we had the chance to get turnovers we had to capitalize,” Lasseigne said. “We did that. We got pressure on their quarterback and I think that forced him into throwing off his back foot. Getting those turnovers really swung the momentum for us.”
Early on the game looked like it might be a shootout as the Cardinals and Tigers combined for 46 points and nearly 300 yards in the first half.
Donaldsonville (3-3, 0-1) scored first. DHS quarterback Tyler Brown used his arm, hitting Leondre James (20 yards, one TD) in the end zone on a 5-yard play to make it 6-0 with 9:19 to play in the first quarter.
But the Cardinals (3-3, 1-0) responded. Darius Charles capped off a nine-play, 50-yard drive with a 1-yard rumble into the end zone to put EDW ahead 7-6 with 5:13 to play. Charles finished with a team-high 87 rushing yards for EDW on 19 carries.
After forcing the Tigers to a three-and-out, the Cardinals added to their lead. Charles scored on another 1-yard run, to increase the E. D. White lead to 14-6 with 3:03 to play in the opening quarter.
E.D. White’s defense then recovered a Tiger fumble, which lead to another score.
Cardinal quarterback Benjamin Sposito (55 yards rushing, two touchdowns) found the corner and raced to the pylon from four yards out to increase the lead to 21-6 in favor of E. D. White.
The Tigers rallied in the second quarter. Brown had 1-yard touchdown run and tossed a 48-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Sullivan. Brown finished 14-for-32 for 195 yards, two touchdowns and was intercepted three times. Sullivan had 94 yards receiving and one TD.
The 48-yard pass play for Brown and Sullivan gave Donaldsonville a 22-21 lead with 1:08 to play, The Tigers converted a couple of two-point conversions to claim the lead.
E.D. White had time to reclain the lead. Rene’ Thibodaux’s 45-yard field goal put the Cardinals on top 24-22 heading into the locker room.
Charles added his third and fourth scores of the night in the second half with yet another 1-yard run and a 15-yarder. Those TDs helped the Cardinals build a 38-22 lead with 4:30 left in the third quarter.
“We have a lot of interchangeable parts, but Darius has been that one constant,” Lasseigne said. “When we need those tough yards, we go to Darius,” Lasseigne said. “Tonight (Donaldsonville gave us some things that allowed us to pound the ball in short yardage.”
Thibodaux’s 31-yard field goal with 1:04 to play in the third increased the Cardinal lead to 41-22. Sposito added his second score of the night in the fourth from 1 yard out.
to put the game away for the Cardinals 48-22 with 11:56 to play in the game, which ultimately became the final score of the night.
“We came out with some emotion in the second half,” Lasseigne said. “I think our team didn’t know what we were and what we are going to be. Hopefully this second half is what we are going to be, I can sense it.”