“We just didn’t have it tonight,” stated Rayne High head coach Curt Ware. “I don’t think they are a better team than we are, but they were better tonight when it counted.”
Friday's loss put the Wolves at 3-7 on the season with only one district win.
Abbeville’s first offensive possession was their shortest when Rayne defensive lineman Tyler Jennings got into the backfield to force a fumble recovered by teammate Dylan Ware. That turnover gave the Wolf offense the ball at the Wildcat 32. But, the Wolves would fail to move the ball and give Abbeville the ball right back at the 32 after a turnover on downs. That’s when the Wildcats started clicking, going 68 yards in two plays for the first score of the game. Javayon Joseph cut back to open field and outran the defense for the 7-0 Abbeville lead.
The Wolves would move backwards on their next possession and punt the ball back to Abbeville, setting them up at the Wildcats' 44. After a 33-yard pass to Joseph brought the ball to the Rayne 22, Abbeville’s Gerald Minnick scored with a 15-yard touchdown run. Good point after puts the score 14-0.
The Abbeville defense was all over Wolf quarterback Clarence Leger, sacking him twice on the following possession and forcing another punt after a negative drive. Andrew Abshire’s punt from his own 19 is downed at the Rayne 48 for Abbeville’s next drive. After a strong first down, the Rayne defense settled in and got a stop, but an off sides penalty pushed the Wildcat offense past the sticks. The Wolves would step up again and force a punt from the 31 that was downed inside the 20 at the Rayne 12 yard-line for another try.
After a good gain on first down, Rayne gets nothing else and is forced to punt for the third time of the first half, this time at their own 21. A penalty on the return gave Abbeville the ball at their own 41. After converting for a big play on third and long, the Wildcats scored again from 34 yards out to extend the lead to 21-0.
The Wolves got some life on the next drive as Brody Bourque collected a first down, then a Wildcat penalty moved the ball to the Abbeville 25. The Wolves try some trickery with a halfback pass; but instead, Bourque’s pass found the hands of an Abbeville defender who returned the interception to the 10. The Wildcats obtained a collection of first downs bringing them to the 34, then to the 50 when quarterback R.J. Frederick broke free for a 50-yd scoring run. Another point after gave Abbeville a 28-0 advantage over the Wolves.
The Wolves would put some points on the board before the half when Abbeville muffed a punt and Tyler LeJeune recovered it at the Abbevile 10. Two plays later, Leger punched it in from two yards out to get Rayne on the scoreboard. Abshire’s kick went wide to send the Wolves into the locker room at half trailing 28-6.
The Wolves came out in the second half with a new sense of energy as Jaylen Williams got a good return to the 44. Bourque quickly carried the ball into Wildcat territory down to the 23. Leger then gets through the line and gets the score from 23 yards out. Abshire’s kick was good, closing the gap 28-13.
But, the Wildcats picked up right where they left off putting together a long drive to eat up most of the third quarter. The drive went 72 yards and resulted with a goal line stand for the Wolves, but the Wildcats got through when Frederick sneaked up the middle from the ½ yard line on fourth down for the score, expanding Abbeville's lead 35-13 at the end of the third quarter.
After a couple of possession changes, the Wolves come through again when Leger goes to the air finding R.J. Buchannan for a 40 yard touchdown pass and catch. Abshire split the uprights for a 35-20 score with time running out.
With time running out, the Rayne defense got the stop they needed and the Wolves got the ball back with two minutes remaining in the ballgame. Rayne got into Wildcat territory, but the Abbeville defense stepped it up and held on for the 35-20 district win over the Wolves on Rayne High's Senior Night.