PHS falls by one in state quarterfinals, banner season comes to an end

Tryve Brackin and Andrew Green
Wayne Toussant

Plaquemine High suffered a narrow 26-25 loss at home last Friday to McDonogh 35 of New Orleans in the state Class 4-A football playoffs. Coach Paul Distefano’s Green Devils gave up a late game touchdown to the visitors.

Wayne Toussant opened the floodgates early for the Green Devils when he scored two rushing touchdown in each of the first two quarters, a 16-yarder followed by a 35-yarder.  PHS led McDonogh 35 14-0 in the second quarter before the visiting team punched in six points of their own, but failed the two-point conversion.

The Green Devils entered the locker room with a halftime 14-6 lead, but the stout McDonogh 35 team came out firing on all cylinders as they put up 12 points to PHS’ three in the third quarter to claim the lead (18-17) heading into the fourth quarter.

Standout senior running back Kevin Dominque punched in a 15-yard score to give the Devils a 25-18 lead early in the fourth.  The McDonogh 35 offense had the final word, however, as they ended a long drive with another score and successful two point conversion to bring the game to a final 26-25 season-ender for the Green Devils.

Dominque led the Devils in rushing yards with 81 and a score followed by Toussant with 71 and two scores.  Quarterback Treyvon Leblanc racked up just 46 yards through the air for the Devils.  Michael Sproles led receivers with 34 yards, followed by Toussant with 16.

Dominque led the Green Devils in rushing yards in the 2016 season with a total of 1,781 yards and 26 scores on the ground.  Toussant followed with 565 and 12 scores, Herb Thomas with 175 and a pair of scores.

First year quarterback Leblanc racked up 1,234 yards through the air, good for 17 scores.

Toussant led in receiving yards with 596 and 10 scores, followed by Sproles with 347 and trio of scores, Percy Butler with 228 and a pair of scores, Andre Riley with 135 and a trio of scores, Dominque with 121 and 

a score and Cody Willis with 106 and a score.

The local team finished the season at 9-4, ending an eight-game win streak that included a repeat sweep of District 6-4A rivals and a pair of state playoff victories.

“We start right back to building a new team for next season with an eye on reaching next year’s state championship in upcoming days,” noted Distefano.

The Green Devils will lose senior defensive back Todd Harris to the college ranks, along with senior running back Kevin Dominique and others. Explosive skill position talent Wayne Toussant is expected to lead next year’s Green Devil offense.

It was yet another in a handful of postseason PHS grid clubs to claim district honors and playoff berths, beginning with former mentor Bob Howell and on to Distefano. PHS has assembled one of the best area coaching staffs to go with a top-notch Field House, stadium, and new gridiron surface (installed this year). They played a trio of teams early in the season that reached deep into the state playoffs in different classifications. They came closer to defeating 5-A power Brother Martin in the regular season opener in New Orleans than defending 2015 5-A champion Catholic High (BR) managed recently against the N.O. Catholics in the playoffs. The Green Devils went to Shreveport for a regional contest against higher-ranked Woodlawn (Shreveport) and put up 71 points of offense to march on to last week’s quarterfinals meeting with McDonogh 35. PHS finished as the top 4-A club in the Metro BR area. 

Congratulations to the Green Devils for a banner season.