BATON ROUGE - The Black Knights scored 19 unanswered points after falling down early and held off the Rough Riders late for a 22-20 victory in the seventh annual U.S. Army Red Stick Bowl Saturday afternoon at Olympia Stadium.


“It was a tremendous effort,” Black Knights head coach Sid Edwards of Central said. “We were kind of down for the count for a minute. There is nothing better than a comeback any time, especially in an All-Star game. Sometimes they are boring or runaways but this was certainly one of the most exciting All-Star games I have ever witnessed. Rarely do they come down to the last seconds like this one did. ”


BATON ROUGE - The Black Knights scored 19 unanswered points after falling down early and held off the Rough Riders late for a 22-20 victory in the seventh annual U.S. Army Red Stick Bowl Saturday afternoon at Olympia Stadium.

“It was a tremendous effort,” Black Knights head coach Sid Edwards of Central said. “We were kind of down for the count for a minute. There is nothing better than a comeback any time, especially in an All-Star game. Sometimes they are boring or runaways but this was certainly one of the most exciting All-Star games I have ever witnessed. Rarely do they come down to the last seconds like this one did. ”

Rough Riders’ quarterback Paul Harris of Tara led the team on a five-play, 71-yard drive capped by his two-yard sneak with 50 seconds remaining. Black Knights’ Rovell Lee of Central knocked down Harris’ pass on the conversion to leave the score 22-20.

The Rough Riders recovered the onsides kick but after a Herculean effort to pick up a first down, Harris was sacked by St. Michael’s Julius Warmsley and fumbled as time expired, which was recovered by Dutchtown’s Richard Buckland.

“It was a fun game to watch and could have gone either way,” Rough Riders head coach Gary Adkins of Donaldsonville said. “It is just disappointing that we didn’t win but with two great teams going at it, their kid made a great play on the conversion.”

Harris completed 12 of 24 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns, but harassed by Warmsley, Buckland and East Ascension’s Ryan Moll throughout.

Dutchtown’s Kelvin York rushed for 10 yards on four carries and Dutchtown guard Shawn Cook helped the Black Knights rush for 75 yards.

St. Amant linebacker Zach Whittington was in on the onside kick recovery, while Donaldsonville Josh Barbier helped the Rough Riders rush for 120 yards as quarterback teammate Laine Bailey picked up four yards on two carries.

Lee recovered Harris’ fumble on the Rough Riders’ opening possession and Josh Lewis of Denham Springs booted a 32-yard field goal with 7:25 left in the first quarter to cap an eight-play, 54-yard drive. Episcopal quarterback Barrett Bailey connected with Jackson’s Marquis Ferguson for 21 yards to kick start the drive.

The Rough Riders answered when Harris hit Christian Life’s Shane Andrus for an 18-yard scoring strike with 10:31 left in the half to cap a 19-play, 80-yard drive which included five penalties.

Bradley Brown of Capital failed to convert a fake punt on the ensuing possession and Harris capitalized two plays later connecting with teammate John Stutts from 24 yards. The kick of Woodlawn’s Sterling Perryman made it 14-3 with 7:41 left to play in the half.

On the Rough Riders’ next possession, Moll recovered a fumbled snap over Bailey’s head and Lewis nailed a 35-yard field goal after a 3-yard run by York with 4:40 left in the half to make it 14-6.

Moll dropped St. Helena Central’s Darin Self for no gain on the opening possession of the second half forcing the Rough Riders to punt and Central’s Louis Covington blocked Perryman’s kick out of the back of the end zone for a safety with 9:41 left in the third quarter to cut it to 14-8.

“We start off the second half with poor field position and that always hurts you,” Adkins said. “(Lewis) puts it in the end zone every time, so that makes it kind of tough and the block punt hurt us, of course.”

“We worked on it but you have to do it within the rules,” Edwards said. “You can’t send everybody. We schemed it up, where we might get a shot to get one. That kind of set the tone for the second half and was as big a play as any.”

Bailey then went to work lofting a deep pass down the right sideline to St. John’s Shelby Hemenway, who caught the ball while diving into the endzone from 27 yards. Lewis’ kick gave the Black Knight a 15-14 lead with 7:26 left to play in the third quarter.

“You either can play or you can’t play and (Hemenway) is a player,” Edwards said. “There are a lot of players out here today that fit that mold.”

As rain began to fall, the Black Knight put together an eight-play, 79-yard drive capped by Antonio Dunn’s 4-yard scamper with 10 seconds remaining in the quarter to make it 22-14. Plaquemine’s Ryan Travis connected with Hemenway for 22 yards to set up the score after Dustin Dixon of Livonia’s 18-yard run.