Making adjustments: Green Devils push past Bulldogs with strong second half of Plaquemine Jamboree
PETER SILAS PASQUA
PLAQUEMINE - Plaquemine Senior High School used a strong second half to push past White Castle 13-6 in the Plaquemine Jamboree on Friday night at Andrew Canova Stadium.
The Green Devils outgained White Castle in total yardage 207-74 with 168 of it coming in the second half. The Bulldogs ran 32 total plays to Plaquemine's 24.
"A win is a win," Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano said. "We see where our weaknesses are at and what we have to do to get better.
"They have some super athletes and had the momentum in the first half. Their team speed is as good or better than ours and it made it real tough on us at first. They did a good job of stacking the line of scrimmage with their speed guys and taking away our running game but we didn't panic at halftime and made some adjustments. We started getting the ball outside with different formations, got the momentum back and just started making plays."
Julius Maracalin rushed for both Green Devil touchdowns and 161 yards on 15 attempts. He had 134 rushing yards and both scores in the second half.
Maracalin also had one reception for 12 yards from Green Devil quarterback D'Morea Wicks, who was 1-for-3. Jeremy Batiste added 37 yards rushing.
The Bulldogs, under coach Lamar Thomas, defeated Plaquemine 24-7 last season in the jamboree.
White Castle quarterback Chris Major rushed for the Bulldogs' lone touchdown and 41 yards on seven attempts while completing 2-of-6 passes for 13 yards.
Dontrell Taylor added 30 yards on six attempts and Daryl Young had 27 yards on 11 carries. Robert Franklin caught an 11-yard reception.
"I think they are going to do great in 1A," Distefano said.
The Green Devil defense had five tackles for loss. Damion Oubre had a sack and Davon Godchaux, Orlando "O.J." Batiste, Chazz Edwards, Jalen Washington, Khalil Harris, Justin Stewart, Brian Jordan and Trevor Jones were each in on tackles for loss.
Daniel Edwards had a sack for White Castle and Byron Pierre and Jared Jones each had tackles for loss.
Neither team gained a first down on their opening possessions with big third down stops by Harold Zachary and Chazz Edwards. Pierre dropped Louis "Trey" Conerly for a 4-yard loss on the Green Devils' next series and Jacory Jones stopped Wicks short on fourth down.
Major capped the Bulldogs' ensuing 13-play, 65-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak. Major's 24-yard scamper pushed White Castle across midfield before Taylor's 11-yard run set up the score. The conversion run failed leaving the score 6-0 with 1:54 left in the first half.
Maracalin's reception ended the first half following an 11-yard run and Jones' tackle for loss.
A penalty negated Franklin's second-half kickoff return for a touchdown and White Castle was forced to punt on the opening possession following a barrage of penalties.
Maracalin's stoic 35-yard run around right end capped the Green Devils' ensuing 6-play, 68-yard drive following his 17-yard burst. The bruising back broke free down the Plaquemine sideline before stopping on a dime just before the pylon to shed a defender and cutting back inside into the end zone. Austin LeJeune's point after touchdown kick put the Green Devils ahead 7-6 with 10:29 left to play.
Plaquemine's defense rose to the occasion on the next series with three straight tackles for loss. Godchaux, Batiste and Washington hit Young for a 4-yard loss before Oubre ran Major out of bounds for a yard loss and Stewart and Jones dropped Young for a 3-yard loss.
Maracalin capped Plaquemine's ensuing 4-play, 58-yard drive with a 10-yard rumble up the gut with 6:31 left to play. He opened the possession with a 17-yard jaunt across midfield before Batiste's 35-yard scamper.
White Castle drove to the red zone on a 20-yard run by Young in their final series but turned the ball over on downs. Taylor and Major's 10-yard runs pushed the ball across midfield.
Plaquemine, ranked No. 9 in the first Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 4A poll released Tuesday, will open the season at East Ascension on Friday night at Spartan Stadium in Gonzales. The Spartans, 11th in 5A, were 4-6 last season and was once a 4A district rival of the Green Devils, who finished 6-5 a year ago.
"It will be a tremendous challenge - a true 5A team with a lot of depth," Distefano said.
White Castle opens the season hosting Morgan City of Class 4A under new coach Dennis Lorio, a White Castle native and former Plaquemine coach. The Bulldogs finished 9-3 last season advancing to the Class 1A regionals, while the Tigers were 4-6.