Central Catholic's Philip Guarisco tackles Southside's Joe Kreamer during Thursday's contest in Morgan City. Central Catholic earned its first win of the season, topping Southside 30-8. Central Catholic will return to action Sept. 20 when it opens District 7-1A play at home against Gueydan. (The Daily Review/Geoff Stoute)
CCHS tops Southside 30-8 for first win
Central Catholic earned its first win of the season as the squad defeated Southside High School 30-8 in Morgan City Thursday.
The Eagles led 8-0 after a quarter of play, 22-0 at halftime and 28-0 after three quarters.
Central Catholic running back Davidyione Bias and quarterback DeDe Gant led the squad’s offense. Bias had 23 carries for 128 yards and a score, while Gant had 15 carries for 122 yards and three touchdowns.
“DeDe’s a threat with the ball in his hands, and he stepped up and did a good job,” Central Catholic Coach Tommy Minton said.
Gant also completed 1 of 2 passes for 11 yards with one interception.
Brooks Thomas was the team’s leading receiver with one catch for 11 yards.
The Eagles totaled 290 yards of offense — 279 of that on the ground. The squad attempted just three passes all night on a field that became muddy as the game went on after a rain shower approximately 40 minutes before kickoff.
“It’s a win and I thought the kids handled some pretty adverse conditions. …. It’s wet,” Minton said. “It’s muddy. It’s sloppy. The field is in bad shape. I know they had a JV game and a junior high game on it this week. It was wet already, and now we tore it up some more, so I thought the kids overcame those conditions and battled and did a good job.”
Defensively, the Eagles held Southside to 128 yards of offense (141 passing and minus-13 rushing). The bulk of the squad’s offense came on two plays, a 69-yard touchdown completion from quarterback Dilion Monette to wide receiver Jack Pruit in the third quarter and a 40-yard completion to Pruit on the game’s final play.
“Defensively we shut the run down. … We gave up one big pass play, and that irritates me because we had decent coverage, and we didn’t tackle the guy, but other than that, I was happy,” Minton said.
Pruit led Southside’s receivers with two catches for 109 yards and a score.
Monette completed 5 of 17 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown.
While Thursday’s game counted as a varsity contest, it did not count for power points for Central Catholic as Southside, a two-year-old school, is not competing for district and playoff honors this season as it transitions into Louisiana High School Athletic Association play. Next season, the Sharks will be a full Louisiana High School Athletic Association member as a Class 5A school.
“We were happy for the opportunity (to play), for one,” Southside Coach Joshua Fontenot said. “Coach Minton and I (have) known each other for a long time. He’s a guy I looked up to and think very highly of, so for him to allow us to come do this, he took a risk doing this, and we really appreciate that.
“Everything we do we turn it into a positive, because this was our first time in a full game against a real opponent, and it showed,” Fontenot added. “We had to go against some adversity and some rough conditions against a good opponent, so all those things, we’re taking them all as lessons that need to be learned.”
Central Catholic got on the board on its second offensive drive as Gant capped the three-play drive with a 1-yard run with 6:20 remaining in the first quarter.
The drive’s big play came on the first play as Bias broke a 54-yard run for a first down at the Southside 16.
Gant’s two-point conversion run following the touchdown was good for an 8-0 Central Catholic lead.
The score remained unchanged until the Eagles’ first drive of the second quarter, which was capped by Bias’ 10-yard run with 10:23 remaining in the first half.
Gant had the drive’s big play as he reeled off a 30-yard run one play before the touchdown.
Gant’s two-point conversion following the touchdown was good for a 16-0 Central Catholic lead.
Central Catholic’s Bryce Grizzaffi forced a fumble on the Sharks’ first offensive play from scrimmage following the touchdown and the Eagles recovered at the Southside 27.
The Eagles turned the turnover into points on a drive capped by Gant’s 8-yard run with 5:58 remaining in the half. The two-point conversion pass failed for a 22-0 Central Catholic lead.
The teams traded touchdowns to begin the second half as Central Catholic moved down the field on its opening drive for a score, capped by a Gant 6-yard run with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter. The two-point conversion failed for a 28-0 Central Catholic lead.
Southside responded on its second offensive play as Monette completed a short pass to Pruit in the middle of the field and the wide receiver worked his way to the outside and down the Southside sideline for a 69-yard touchdown. Cedric McDonald’s two-point conversion was good, cutting the Eagles’ lead to 28-8 with 5:28 remaining in the third quarter.
The Eagles scored the game’s final points with 7:44 remaining in the ball game on a safety.
Central Catholic (1-2) will return to action Sept. 20 when it opens District 7-1A action at home against Gueydan.