Green Devils on losing end of wild 40-32 shootout
Plaquemine High’s Green Devils fell to a 0-2 start to their football season Friday night in their home opener, but they did not lose without a fight. The locals ended up on the losing end of a wild, high-scoring 40-32 contest with visiting 4-A Opelousas High.
The game was not decided until the final period when a late rally by the Green Devils fell short by only eight points.
The game began with a lot of first quarter scoring as PHS jumped out to a 20-13 lead. The score was 26-13 in favor of the Devils by halftime.
Coach Blake Kling said a personal foul flag helped Opelousas rally for the winning points. He also said an interception return for a touchdown in the second half crippled PHS’ chances. “Our receiver fell down and the ball went right to the cover man. He had clear sailing,” noted Kling.
The PHS mentor said he was disappointed the Class 3-A Green Devils did not win, but said he saw improvement over their previous 24-0 loss to 3-A power Redemptorist the week before. “The boys played hard from start to finish and new they had a chance to win the game to the end. I could see their disappointment. Hopefully, we can bounce back and beat Tara High this coming week. We have to cut down on our mistakes, improve defensively, and see what will happen,” noted the PHS coach.
Senior quarterback Ryan Travis had an outstanding offensive night as he led the PHS boys to their 32-point total. The QB passed for 307 yards, including a 74-yard bomb to receiver Demarcus Watts. Travis also rushed for 27 yards and had touchdown runs of 1 and 5 yards.
Senior running back Albert Battiste also had a solid effort running the football. He had 106 yards on the ground and touchdown runs of 4 and 11 yards.
Defensively, Coach Kling said senior linebacker Andre Jenkins played steady football, while defensive lineman Denzel Oubre led the way up front for PHS. “We really did not play well on defense, but those two had the best efforts,” explained the PHS coach.
Opelousas finished with 312 yards rushing and another 36 yards in the air, but PHS held a 22 to 16 edge in first downs. OHS suffered more penalty yardage (127 to 102) than PHS, but the Green Devils had a trio of passes intercepted, while the visitors had no turnovers. Donovan Williams led the OHS offensive attack with three touchdowns and 186 yards rushing, including a 65-yard gallop.
The Green Devils host 4-A Tara High tomorrow (Friday) night at home. Tara is coached by former St. John High player and graduate Ron LeJeune, who has previously mentored St. John, East Iberville, and Belaire as a head coach in Green Devil Stadium and as an assistant at Brusly High.
Similar to PHS, the Tara Trojans were unable to play their first two scheduled games due to the hurricane. They beat Loranger High 21-18 in their opener, but lost last week to future PHS District 9-3A rival Port Allen High by a narrow 19-15 score.