What a difference an half makes.
For Rayne High, the first half of Thursday’s football game saw the undefeated No. 6-ranked Wolves march down for two unanswered touchdowns.
For Church Point, after some adjusting in the second half, touched the endzone four times and handed Rayne their first loss of the season during an all important district contest.
“I’m really proud of our guys for never giving up,” stated Church Point’s John Craig Arceneaux on Thursday’s win.
“We came out at first and were just off key and missing a few things. But, they never gave up, made some adjustments after the half, and really got focused on the task at hand.”
In addition to Church Point’s four second half touchdowns, the Bears defense held the Wolves to under 300 offensive yards on the night, a complete change to their season thus far.
Rayne High’s Coach Curt Ware attributes the loss to multiple mistakes throughout the ballgame.
“No matter what your record is and how good you’ver been playing all season, you can’t make the mistakes we made tonight and win,” Ware stated.
With a scoreless first quarter, Rayne High’s Jalen Williams, Trent Duhon and Javon Cormier combined for a 58-yard drive for the first score of the ballgame. Williams punched it on from one yard out and Ty Delahoussaye split the uprights for the extra point and a 7-0 Rayne lead.
On Rayne’s very next drive, Wolf quarterback Clarence Leger found Dannie Harmon from 39 yards out for Rayne’s second and final score of the contest. With another Delahoussaye extra point, the Wolves held a 14-0 lead with six minutes to play in the first half, plenty of time for the Bears to recover -- and that they did.
Following an inspiring interception by Wolf Grant Menard near midfield that opened the door for the Rayne High offense, the momentum of the ballgame seemed to change near the end of the first half in favor of the Bears.
Church Point recovered a Rayne fumble in the red zone, setting up a short 19-yard drive ending on a one-yard touchdown run by Brett Richard. Chance Roy booted the extra point, cutting the Rayne lead to 14-7.
A long third quarter saw possession go back and forth as the Bears gained more confidence. On one of those runs late in the quarter, James Bellard ran the majority of his 107 yards of the night with an 84-yard touchdown run. A two-point conversion was attempted and failed as the Wolves held a slight 14-13 lead going into the final quarter of action.
The Bears attained possession on their side of the ballfield on a muffled punt with Church Point eying the endzone once again. Following a quarterback sack by Wolf Andrew Broussard, a short, 39-yard drive netted the Bears their go-ahead score on the heels of a Brett Richard five-yard touchdown run. A failed conversion kept the score at 19-14 for Church Point.
Despite a quarterback sack by Wolf defender Dexter Charles, the Bears scored once again late in the ballgame as Deion Monroe followed his linemen in a lane that resulted in an 88-yard touchdown run. A Kian Richard extra point put the score at 26-14 for the Bears.
Leger found Tyler LeJeune for a 37-yard completion setting up a possible Rayne scoring drive. But, the Church Point defense held tough for the win.
“Actually, they didn’t do anything different than we’ve seen all year, it just seemed they cranked it up and showed intensity, showed more effort,” noted Ware on the hard loss. “Once you start hanging your head, it’s a long way back.”
Adding his lone touchdown on the night, Jalen Williams turned in 132 rushing yards on 20 carries for the Wolves. Trent Duhon (14-40) and Javon Cormier (6-10) helped ut on that end.
Leger was 2-for-8 in the air for Rayne totaling 76 yards and a touchdown.
Dannie Harmon was on the receiving end of the touchdown pass from 39 yards downfield. Tyler LeJeune added a 37-yard completion on the Wolves’ passing game for the night.
The Bears were led on offense by James Bellard (9-107) and Deion Monroe (3-94), each touching the endzone once. Brett Richard, with only eight rushing yards, scored two Church Point touchdowns on the night.
The Rayne defense was led by Billy Marcantel with eight tackles and four assists, followed by Cody Manuel, Andrew broussard, Bryan Minix, TYler LeJeune, Grant Menard, Brice Meche and Quinn Guidry.
“This is a long-time rivalry game that everyone looks forward to,” concluded Ware on Thursday’s loss. “But, this year it meant more because of some many teams still grabbing for the district title.”
“We’ll have to brush this off, learn from it, and get to Eunice next week,” Ware concluded. “You never know, stranger things have happened.”
The Wolves will host Eunice next Friday. Kickoff is at 7 p.m. at Wolf Stadium.
The Wolves stand at 2-1 in district with an overall 7-1 record, while Church Point climbed to 3-0 in district and 6-2 overall.
Unbeaten Eunice was hosting Port Barre Friday trying to stay atop the 5-3A district standings.