Carver Collegiate ends Plaquemine playoff run
The rollercoaster season that brought Plaquemine from an 0-5 start to a five-game win streak crashed Friday night at Andrew Canova Stadium.
The Green Devils took the opening lead, but New Orleans-based George Washington Carver Collegiate Academy held PHS scoreless the next two quarters for a 40-12 victory in second-round Class 4A non-select playoff action.
The loss ended No. 25-seed Plaquemine’s season at 5-6, while No. 9 Carver advanced to the quarterfinal round against crosstown foe Edna Karr, the No. 1 seed in Class 4A.
The Green Devils went into action without the services of junior quarterback Mike Mitchell, who suffered bruised ribs last week in the first-round victory at Salmen High School in Slidell.
The fortunes did not get any better against Carver.
Senior running back Kobe Major sustained an injury at the start of the second half that sidelined him for the rest of the game.
“We lost our two biggest players, but our kids never stopped,” Plaquemine interim head coach Ron LeJeune said. “But we knew it was going to be tough without our starting quarterback.
“But I didn’t think we’d make the playoffs six weeks ago, so I’m very proud of the kids and what they did this season,” he said. “Carver was just a very tough team.”
The absence of the two standouts made it tougher for the Green Devils to dig their way from the 21-6 deficit that took them to halftime.
Plaquemine senior Rickey Green scored on a 17-yard scamper in the fourth quarter to break the scoring drought, but the Carver’s onslaught in the second half blocked any chance of a Green Devil comeback.
Sophomore quarterback Brandon Smith got Plaquemine off to a good start in the first quarter when he connected with Delano Sanders on a 12-yard touchdown pass.
The Green Devils carried the lead into the second quarter, but Carver’s powerful running game and a solid air attack combined to help them score 21 unanswered points against PHS.
Plaquemine went deep into Ram territory toward the end of the first half and survived a fumble before Major broke loose for a 30-yard run that put the Green Devils at the Carver 29.
Two plays later, senior cornerback Jyrule Smith took an interception 90 yards that allowed senior quarterback Anochee Smith to score on a 5-yard keeper that stretched the Green Devil deficit to 21-6 at halftime.
Plaquemine kept the fight going at the start of the second half when the Green Devils recovered a Carver fumble at their own 4, but Major’s injuring on the ensuing drive deflated the PHS momentum. Senior Greg Emery seized the opportunity for a 32-yard TD run.
Emery struck again in the fourth when he grabbed a Smith pass for a 11-yard TD with 11:27 left in the game.