Late rally comes up short for Green Devils in 34-32 loss to 4-A W-MHS on eve of 8-3A home opener

Tryve Brackin

Plaquemine High’s fourth-quarter rally came up short Friday night in far away Lake Charles as the local 3-A Green Devils dropped a narrow, but high-scoring 34-32 football game to hosting 4-A Washington-Marion High.

The two-point loss was the final of five-straight road games for the Green Devils and marked their longest bus ride home after a defeat this season, giving the local grid team plenty of time to think about their first home game in several weeks as they host District 8-3A rival and neighbor Port Allen High tomorrow (Friday) night in their league opener.

Plaquemine trimmed the 4-A foes last season at Green Devil Stadium to forge a 5-1 record as they began district football competition last year. Despite a 3-3 pre-district worksheet this season, Coach Bob Howell is in high hopes his Green Devils have improved enough to make a better showing in 8-3A this year. PHS finished 1-3 in league play last year to close with a 6-4 record and a state playoff berth. This time around, the district teams seem closer matched than last year’s close encounters. Defending league champ St. James High squeaked by hosting Brusly 28-21 in overtime Friday night for its first win of the 2010 season. Brusly fell to 2-4 overall. Meanwhile, Port Allen turned back an injury-limited 1-5 Livonia High by a 36-17 score to move to 3-2 overall on the eve of their visit to Plaquemine tomorrow evening.

Last week in Lake Charles the Green Devils fell behind early and played catch up the rest of the night. Running behind a big, tall offensive lineman most of the night, RB-turned-QB Geroski Harmon was almost unstoppable as the PHS defense gave up 313 yards on the ground. Harmon struck for five touchdowns, rushing for 294 yards on 41 carries, mostly out of the shotgun formation. He tallied on long runs of 61 and 35 yards on PHS and ended up with 119 yards in the first half and 175 yards in the second half to keep the hosting 4-A Indians in the lead throughout the contest.

Plaquemine was down by a touchdown or two for much of the game, but rallied in the second half and the waning minutes of the final period to make it a game. The Green Devils tallied the final touchdown of the game on a 36-yard TD pass from QB Darvin Butler to RB Julius Maracalin to close the gap.

Senior Nick Thomas tallied the first touchdown of the night for PHS on a 30-yard run to tie the score in the early stages of the game against W-MHS (2-4). Sophomore speedster Hakeem Deggs scored the second PHS touchdown on a 96-yard kickoff return. He went on to tally a two-point conversion and a two-point safety in the game for the Green Devils.

Senior fullback Troy Jones also got into the scoring act for the Green Devils as he tallied on a six-yard run and finished the game with 85 yards rushing. Plaquemine finished with 193 yards rushing and 87 yards passing.

Coach Howell understands well that his Green Devil defense must tighten up tomorrow night in their Homecoming and district opener against a dangerous Port Allen Pelican team. PHS had to rally in the final quarter last year to trim the Pels for their only 8-3A victory of the season. After winning their initial 8-3A game against PAHS last year the then 6-1 Green Devils tailed out by losing their final three district games, all close calls. Howell will be seeking consistency both in the PHS triple option offensive attack and the overall defensive effort against the run, the pass, and the Pels’ kick return game tomorrow evening. Port Allen used a handful of big play offensive gems to rally by the Livonia club last week.