MCHS' 'D' shows positives in scrimmage with 'Jacks
By GEOFF STOUTE
PATTERSON — When Morgan City’s first-team defense stopped Patterson running back Larry Turner on fourth down deep in Morgan City territory early in the two squad’s scrimmage, little did anyone in attendance know that it would set the tone for the entire night among the first-teamers.
Patterson’s first teamers made big plays on offense behind the running of Turner and Shelby Lavergne.
But Morgan City’s first-team defense, including Clifton Escort and Buddy Humphrey, made big plays as well.
That, along with penalties by Patterson kept the ’Jacks' first team out of the end zone for much of the contest.
It wasn’t until the scrimmage’s final play when junior receiver Daylon Charlot grabbed a pass from quarterback Spencer Landry and sprinted to the end zone for a 54 yard touchdown that the Patterson offense finally got on the board.
Morgan City’s first-team defense sacked Landry multiple times, moving the yardstick back for the Lumberjacks.
“We gave up some big-yardage sacks, and it was some protection issues that … basically, I’ll go ahead and say it: There was some stuff we weren’t ready for,” Patterson coach Tommy Minton said.
Minton said his squad had not worked on a front that Morgan City presented them during the contest.
“We tried to make some adjustments as we went on, but it gave us some problems with some of those edge pressures, and we weren’t ready for it protection-wise, so you got to give them credit for that,” he said.
First-year Morgan City coach Dennis Lorio said he liked how his defense went to the ball.
“We match up pretty good with spread teams,” Lorio said. “We have pretty good depth along the skill (positions) around the back (of the defense) and our linebackers played good and were able to get a little pressure on (them) where they couldn’t just sit back and pick and choose. They blitzed us too, and I think our defensive coaches did an excellent job.”
Patterson’s first-team defense also had a banner day as Morgan City couldn’t get much going, running-wise, up the middle and gained most of their yardage on running plays to the outside.
The hard-hitting Patterson defense also pressured Morgan City quarterbacks and recorded sacks .
“I thought defensively we did a good job,” Minton said. “We tackled well. We made a couple of mistakes … Defense is always going to be ahead of offenses at this point in the season, but I thought defensively we played pretty well. The big thing we got to do in our scheme is we always got to tackle well because we’re going to have some free people to the football. We line up so many people around the ball, but we got to tackle when we’re there.”
Lorio, who was hired April 29 and started spring practice soon after, said his squad is behind and on Thursday, looked further behind on offense than defense.
He said Morgan City didn’t make the catches in the pass game on offense like Patterson did when given one-on-one coverage.
“That’s what we’re supposed to do,” Lorio said. “We didn’t go up and get the ball like we needed to, and this was good work for us.”
Morgan City fared much better in its running game with the second team, with Kevon Marsh, Jacolbi Francois and quarterback Kolbi Chatman leading the way.
Morgan City’s lone score of the contest, produced by its second team, was set up by an approximately 53-yard run by Marsh before Tristen Ausama stopped him at the Patterson 16.
Later in the drive, Francois and the Morgan City offensive line were able to push their way into the end zone from five yards out.
Patterson’s second-team offense received nice contributions from quarterback Sirbatain Charles, who made plays with his arm and his legs.
Patterson’s second-team recorded three touchdowns, one on Nehemiah Augustus’ 19-yard touchdown reception from Charles after slipping a tackle for Patterson’s first score of the evening, another on Ausama’s 70-yard touchdown run down the Patterson sideline; and another on Shay Ragas' touchdown reception.
Both teams will return to action this coming week, Patterson on Thursday against Franklin in the Lumberjacks’ portion of the St. Mary Parish Jamboree in Patterson, and Morgan City against Berwick in the Tigers’ portion of the jamboree on Aug. 30.