CCHS nets 1st win of season
By ZACHARY FITZGERALD
Central Catholic snapped a seven-game losing streak dating back to last season Friday against Hanson Memorial but kept another streak alive.
Central Catholic rallied from an 18-7 third-quarter deficit to Hanson Memorial with 21 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes to net its first win of the season, 28-18.
The Eagles (1-5) last won a regular or postseason game on Oct. 26, 2012, against Hanson Memorial. Central Catholic also extended its regular season winning streak against the Tigers to 21 games. The streak began in 1993.
“The streak we wanted to end tonight was the 0-5 (record this season),” Central Catholic coach David Fuhrer said. “We talked a lot about that this week.”
“The winning streak (against Hanson Memorial), it’s there,” Fuhrer said. “The kids are proud of it. ... Like I told them at the beginning of the week, it’s there. It’s in front of us, but we are this year’s team. And we have to take care of getting a win.”
The Eagles turned the ball over five times in the first half on three interceptions and two fumbles. The Hanson Memorial Tigers took advantage of two of those turnovers.
The Tigers jumped out to a 12-0 lead, capitalizing on an interception and a fumble. The Tigers’ Jeff Soulis scored on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, and Jacob Stewart caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Bo Barrilleaux with 4:31 in the second quarter.
Central Catholic got on the scoreboard with 2:24 to go in the second quarter after Jalen Johnson returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown, cutting the deficit to 12-7.
The Eagles only accumulated 58 yards of total offense in the first half — 31 rushing yards and 27 passing.
The Tigers had 23 rushing yards and 103 passing yards in the first half.
“Hanson played hard. My hat’s off to them. I thought we didn’t execute very well offensively. I thought defensively we did some good things,” Fuhrer said of his team’s first half performance.
“Hanson took advantage of some of our mistakes. ... At halftime, we told the guys we’ve just got to relax and play football, just keep fighting one play at a time. And the guys responded,” Fuhrer said.
During the second half, the Eagles relied on running back and defensive back Stefano Guarisco to lead the way. Guarisco finished the game with 18 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Eriq Blanchard added 101 yards on 19 carries.
Hanson Memorial scored on the opening drive of the second half with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Barrilleaux to Beau Leblanc. The Tigers failed to convert on all of their extra point attempts in the game.
After that drive, it was all Central Catholic from there. In the third quarter, Guarisco scored on a 4-yard run set up by his 55-yard run on the previous play.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles drove 71 yards down the field to score on a 5-yard run by Guarisco.
Guarisco then intercepted a pass that led to a 27-yard touchdown pass from Nicholas Case to Tyler Hoffpauir with 5:53 left in the fourth quarter.
Central Catholic’s Charlie Barron picked off a pass on the next drive to seal the win for the Eagles.
Central Catholic finished with 311 yards of total offense compared to Hanson Memorial’s 253 yards.
Fuhrer said he hopes the Eagles’ first win is something the team can build on. “I know the guys have been disappointed week in and week out,” he said. “We played some tough games, lost some games in the fourth quarter. ... I’m just very proud of them for the way they came out and finished.”
Fuhrer said the team was going to celebrate the Friday night win and go back to work Saturday morning. “We got that first win,” he said. “The monkey’s off our back, so we’ll take it from there.”
Hanson Memorial Head Coach Brett Blakey said, “It hurts losing the way we did, up 18-7 and then giving up 21 straight points. But good teams are going to do that to you. We blew some opportunities in the first half whenever we had the ball in the red zone, and we couldn’t capitalize.
“There were a couple of times where balls hit our receivers in the hands, and we just dropped them. ... We’re going to go back to the drawing board, and we’re going to fix it,” Blakey said.
The Tigers, 4-2, cannot let the loss define their season, Blakey said. “We still are going to be able to hopefully accomplish our goal of winning a district championship. We’re not out of that race, so we’ve got to pick ourselves up off the mat.”
Central Catholic plays Ascension Episcopal (4-2) Thursday in Morgan City.