Plaquemine comes home for Round 2 playoff showdown
A playoff spot seemed doubtful for Plaquemine at mid-season, but the Green Devils proved once more how fast things can change in high school football.
No. 25 Plaquemine will see a second round of playoff action, this time in the friendly confines of Andrew Canova Stadium, when the Green Devils host New Orleans-based No. 9 George Washington Carver. Kickoff is 7 p.m.
A 41-27 upset over No. 8 Salmen last Friday in Slidell kept the Green Devils in the post-season run.
Plaquemine amassed 468 yards, led by Kobe Major scored three touchdowns, including two in the fourth quarter that propelled the PHS victory over the Spartans.
Major carried 25 times for 186 yards. Mitchell ran 14 times for 107 yards and Carter notched 116 yards on 10 carries.
“The kids are highly motivated, practicing hard and doing everything we’ve asked of them,” Plaquemine interim head coach Ron LeJeune said. “We’ve come a long way after reached a very low point at midseason when we lost to Belaire – and Plaquemine should never lose to Belaire.”
The embarrassment from the loss Oct. 1 at Belaire ignited a win streak that has now extended to five games.
Against Carver, PHS needs the same inspired performance that fueled the stunner over Salmen, LeJeune said.
“Carver is a lot like Salmen,” he said. “They’re very good on defense, but score enough to win, yet they’re still capable of scoring a lot of points.”
Carver (7-1) missed out on its first two edged Landry-Walker 17-14 to reach the second round.
Against Salmen, the Green Devils took an 8-6 lead in the first quarter off a Major 16-yard scamper, followed by a Michael Mitchell two-point conversion run.
Salmen stretched its lead off a Trent Johnson 7-yard touchdown, the second of two in the game.
Plaquemine took the lead off a Mitchell 2-yard keeper and conversion run, but he suffered bruised ribs on a play that sidelined him the rest of the game.
LeJeune said he is not yet certain Mitchell’s injury will heal before Friday.
“Mike wants to play, but that’s a pretty painful injury,” he said. “We may know for certain Thursday or Friday.”
Salmen snatched the lead on Jack Gillikin’s 22-yard TD pass to Brandon Acker that put Salmen ahead 20-16 at halftime.
A Shermar Carter 12-yard run tilted the momentum back in Plaquemine’s favor, A Jo Jo Frazier point-after kick put PHS ahead 23-20 at the end of the third quarter. It didn’t stop Salmen, which regained the lead when Gillikin connected with Davonti Landry on a 78-yard TD pass.
Plaquemine’s loss on downs put the PHS defense back on the field two days after a fourth-down stop deep in the red zone set up a safety to pad the lead.
Major then connected with Smith for a 121-yard TD with 2:56 left in the game. A Major 27-yarder with 54 seconds remaining sealed the Plaquemine victory.