Offensive fireworks in loss to Riverside still has WCHS mentor excited about season
Coach Ferrante Dominique said despite a high-scoring 48-34 loss to hosting 2-A Riverside Academy last Friday in the White Castle High season opener he is still excited about the potential of his Bulldog football team.
“It was a setback for our defense and something that is being addressed immediately this morning, but overall I am very excited about this football team. The coaches and players showed up early this morning, had Krispy Kreme doughnuts and went to work,” explained Dominique in a Saturday interview.
The local 1-A Bulldogs were in the ball game through the first half and into the early stages of the third period, but then the defense went south. Dominique indicated much of his club’s second-half defensive woes stemmed from a lack of being able to adjust and change on defense.
“I am moving over to take over the defense and I expect us to play better on defense and adjust to what opponents are doing by halftime. That is something we failed to do last night,” noted the WCHS mentor.
Offensively, the Bulldogs continued to show they are quite capable of being one of the most powerful in the state’s 1-A ranks this season. They played a strong Double A Riverside host toe-to-toe offensively most of the game.
Riversidetook an early 14-0 lead, but that changed when junior standout Tyree Bracken took off on a 95-yard kickoff return TD.
Riveside tallied again to make it 20-6, but back came the Bulldogs through the end of the first half and into the third period. Backup quarterback Isaac O’Bear tossed a 14-yard TD pass to starting QB Ronald Martin, who flanked out at wide receiver, and then Bracken tallied on a two-point conversion to cut the Riverside lead to 20-14 by intermission.
Bracken tied up the score at 20-all early in the third period by dashing 82 yards for his second touchdown of the game. But Riverside ended up outscoring the Bulldogs in the third and fourth periods.
The Bulldogs tallied twice more in the second half on a four-yard pass from Martin to Bracken and a five-yard QB keeper run by Martin. Bracken added another two-point conversion run as well.
WCHS scored from start to finish, but could not stop the hosts in the second half as they rang up 28 second-half points, while the Bulldogs netted only 14 total.
The Reserve private school garnered over 400 yards rushing on the WCHS defense in the game. Riverside running backs Darnell Rachal and Thomas Crouch combined for four touchdowns and 279 yards rushing. Rachal led with 147 yards on the ground.
Bracken also had 147 yards rushing to lead WCHS. He also added a whopping 140 yards on four kickoff returns, including his 95-yard gallop.
Martin added another 64 yards rushing to go with his TD pass and TD reception. O’Bear hit two of three passes in backup duties for 62 yards and his TD throw to Martin.
“We moved the football and exploded a few times on offense. But we did not play defense at all. We have got to make adjustments on defense as a game goes on. I can tell you we will have a few personnel changes on defense as well. We have got to stop people with tackles,” noted the WCHS coach.
After dominating Brusly High on defense in a preseason scrimmage the Bulldogs struggled to stop Plaquemine High in a 25-6 jamboree loss at Port Allen two weeks ago and then again Friday night. Tomorrow night a very explosive Donaldsonville High Tiger offense will again test the Bulldog defense. Double A D’ville swarmed over 3-A Brusly 48-21 with 213 yards rushing and another 148 in the air.
“We are looking forward to the challenge Donaldsonville presents. I am very positive and excited right now. I had some good conversations with the school superintendent (Edward Cancienne) and Paul Distefano (School Board Member) last week and Charlie Handy (WCHS Principal) is one hundred percent behind what we are trying to do in the football program. Despite the loss, I feel very good this morning,” noted Dominique.