Cajuns roast Eagles 41-7
Central Catholic’s Sydney Holder grabs the jersey of Metairie Park Country Day’s Jase Griffin during the squads’ game Friday in Metairie, while Jalen Johnson, Holder’s teammate, comes to his aid. (Photo credit: Valerie LeBlanc)
Two names that had to be on Central Catholic defenders’ minds entering Friday’s matchup with 10th-ranked Metairie Park Country Day were running backs Andrew Kern and Jase Griffin.
By the time Friday’s afternoon contest was complete, odds are memories of the two Country Day standouts were on the minds of Central Catholic fans, too, for all the wrong reasons.
Kern and Griffin both broke big touchdown runs early in Friday’s contest as Country Day (8-1) raced out to a 27-0 first-quarter lead en route to a 41-7 rout of Central Catholic.
“They’re a good football team … They run the veer, and they do it very well,” Central Catholic coach David Fuhrer said.
The Cajuns wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as Kern took a handoff from quarterback Michael Mann on a dive play on the Cajuns’ first offensive play from scrimmage and raced past the Central Catholic defense for a 68-yard touchdown run and a 7-0 lead just 26 seconds into the contest.
The Cajuns were just getting started as Country Day also scored touchdowns on its third and fifth offensive plays of the ball game, each covering 30-plus yards.
After Jackson Jansen recovered a fumble by Central Catholic’s Nick Case three plays into the Eagles’ first offensive drive at the Central Catholic 35-yard line, the Cajuns needed just two plays to reach the end zone as Griffin raced to the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown run on a counter play for a 14-7 Country Day lead with 9:47 remaining in the opening quarter.
Later, after stopping Central Catholic at the Country Day 44, Kern took another handoff on another dive play for a 53-yard touchdown run and a 21-0 Country Day lead with 6:36 remaining in the opening quarter.
Country Day would score on its next possession on a five-play 75-yard drive capped by Mann’s 14-yard pass to Trey Harrell on a play where he held onto a pass, fighting off good coverage from Central Catholic’s Stefano Guarisco and fell into the end zone for a touchdown. Jansen’s kick was no good but Country Day still led 27-0 with nine seconds remaining in the first quarter.
While his team jumped out to the big lead, Country Day coach Richard Wood said his team “held (Central Catholic) off,” noting they had big-play potential.
“(When) we scored as fast as we did, we caught them off balance I think, and then the second half they settled down,” he said.
Wood said that fast start is something Country Day has been able to do the past six weeks.
The duo responsible for the big start both turned in solid games. Kern finished the contest with 14 carries for 205 yards and three touchdowns, while Griffin added 10 carries for 142 yards and two scores.
The Cajuns finished the game with 412 total yards, included 358 yards rushing on 28 carries and five touchdowns.
While Central Catholic’s defense was able to adjust for much of the second and third quarter and limit the big running plays by Country Day, the Eagles couldn’t finish drives and the Cajuns shutdown Guarisco on offense. In the contest, Case was picked off three times sacked multiple times.
Kern recorded all three interceptions, two by himself and one with Harrell.
“They had a good defensive game plan,” Fuhrer said. “They’re very quick. Probably one of the quickest teams we’ve played as far as defensively coming off the ball, and they took it to us.”
Case completed 11 of 22 passes for 113 yards with a score on a 44-yard pass to Guarisco with 2:02 remaining in the third quarter to cut the Eagles’ deficit to 27-7.
While Guarisco had the receiving touchdown and several nice returns on special teams, he was limited to just 17 carries for 32 yards in the contest. Eriq Blanchard led the Eagles’ rushing attack with 11 carries for 55 yards, while Garrett LeBlanc added four totes for 32 yards.
Central Catholic totaled just 243 yards in the contest (131 rushing and 112 passing)
Country Day added two touchdowns in the second half, one on Kern’s 1-yard plunge with 33.3 seconds left in the third quarter and another on a 59-yard run by Griffin with about 3:07 remaining for the final.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Eagles (3-6 overall, 3-2 in district), who will conclude their regular season Friday with homecoming against Gueydan before beginning postseason play in the Division 4 select bracket.
Central Catholic Box Score
First downs 16 13
Rushing yards 131 358
Passing yards 112 54
Total yards 243 412
A-C-HI 22-11-3 13-3-1
Penalty-yards 4-45 3-40
Fumbles-lost 6-1 0-0
Punts-avg. 2-37 3-35.3
Score by Quarters
MPCD 27 0 7 7 -- 41
CCHS 0 0 7 0 -- 7
MPCD: Andrew Kern 68 yd. run (Jackson Jansen kick) 11:36
MCPD: Jase Griffin 35 yd. run. (Jansen kick) 9:47
MCPD: Kern 53 yd. run (Jansen kick) 6:36
MCPD: Michael Mann 14-yd. pass to Trey Harrell (Kick fail) 0:09
CCHS: Nick Case 44 yd. pass to Stefano Guarisco (Matthew Barbier kick) 2:02
MCPD: Kern 1 yd. run (Jackson kick) 33.3
MCPD: Griffin 59 yd. run (Jackson kick) about 3:07 left
CCHS Individual Stats
Eriq Blanchard 11-55; Stefano Guarisco 17-32; Garret LeBlanc 4-32; Tyler Hoffpauir 4-16; Nick Case 16-3; Team 2- (-1)
Nick Case 11-22-3 113 yds 1TD
Stefano Guarisco 2-50 1TD; Tyler Hoffpauir 4-26; Eriq Blanchard 2-21; Charlie Barron 1-8; Jalen Johnson 2-7