Griffins’ offensive line, backs control Wolves
BATON ROUGE - Dutchtown’s revamped offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage as the Griffins produced two 100-yard rushers to power past Redemptorist, 24-15, Saturday afternoon at Majella Field, giving an indicative picture of who the metro area’s best team may be in the marquee season opener for both teams.
The contest between No. 9 Dutchtown of Class 5A and No. 4 Redemptorist of Class 3A was scheduled when both teams’ original contests were canceled in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav for the second consecutive week.
“That was a good football game,” Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “You can tell both of us will be pretty decent. I thought it would come down to the second half. Who could execute while they were tired. It was hot. We went a week without practice. We are not in shape but our guys gutted it out.
“It was in doubt to the end. That is a good football team. We are better for playing this game and I hope they are too.”
The Griffins produced 295 yards rushing as Kelvin York ran for 143 yards on 28 carries with two touchdowns and Lyndon Holmes added 112 yards on eight carries with one touchdown in the absence of Dutchtown’s returning rushing leader, Eddie Lacy.
“Kelvin York took over and made a nice run that really turned the game around,” Saia said. “I am so happy for Lyndon Holmes. His dad died when he was a freshmen with lung cancer and he has been through a lot of stuff and I am just happy for him to have the type of night that he had.”
Dutchtown returns only guards John Lambert and Shawn Cook this season, as tackles Michael Hernandez and Robert Chandler, center Thomas Harvey and tight end Colby Little completes the overhauled offensive line.
“Their offensive front was the difference,” Redemptorist head coach Guy Mistretta said. “They really controlled us and their backs ran so hard. Our tackling could have been better but a lot of that credit goes to their offensive line. I thought we got pushed around on the defensive front and could never establish anything. Coming into the game, I said whatever the outcome, we were going to be a better team for playing this game, especially against a big team like that.”
Holmes capped Dutchtown’s 12-play, 80-yard drive to open the contest with a 9-yard run through the right side into the end zone and carried four times for 54 yards including a 33-yard gain up the middle.
“It was great,” Holmes said.“The offensive line blocked and they opened it up for me so I could get through. As long as I can get through the front line, it is all right.”
Griffin quarterback Wesley Perkins connected with Effrem Reed for a 14-yard pass play to set up the score. Grant Auzene’s kick gave Dutchtown a 7-0 lead with 7:21 left in the first quarter.
Richard Buckland recovered Jeremy Hill’s fumble five plays later at the Griffin 45 and York capped the ensuing 4-play drive with a 21-yard run through the left side to pay dirt. Perkins hit Reed for 31-yard completion to fuel he drive. Auzene’s kick gave Dutchtown a 14-0 lead with 3:43 left in the first quarter.
Two possessions later, Cody Church recovered York’s fumble at the Griffin 33 but after Jonathan Green’s 8-yard run, Dutchtown’s defense stepped up to halt the drive and Ryan Joffrion’s 31-yard field goal attempt was wide right.
“That first half, offensively we had a couple of chances,” Mistretta said. “We fumbled down in the end zone and missed a field goal. I thought both sides played sloppy. It was what we expected. It wasn’t a perfect game by either side.”
Cornell Hill blocked Auzene’s punt on the ensuing possession and Fulton Johnson recovered at the Griffin 16 but two plays later Eric Ried recovered Green’s fumble and Dutchtown 5 and Roland Houston and Bert White combined to drop York for a safety on the next play to cut it to 14-2 with 7:44 left to play in the half.
Green returned the free kick 53-yards and capped 6-play drive with a 1-yard dive into the end zone. Quarterback Deuce Coon connected with Jarren Pickering for 16 yards and Hill for 15 to set up the score. Joffrion’s kick made it 14-9 with 4:36 left in the half.
“They got some weapons,” Saia said. “They have some great skill kids. We put the defense in a bad spot in the second quarter. We left them on the field forever. You can’t do that to your defense. You have to be able to make the first down. We hung them out to dry.”
Perkins hit Little for 25 yards on the next possession but the drive stalled and Redemptorist took a knee.
The Wolves drove to the Griffin 30 to open the second half but Coon’s keeper fell short on fourth down.
Auzene’s 18-yard field goal capped the ensuing 10-play, 72-yard drive to give Dutchtown a 17-9 lead with 3:29 left in the quarter. Holmes’ 53-yard run kick started the drive.
Reid knocked down Coon’s pass intended for Pickering on fourth down to end the Wolves’ 14-play into the red zone.
York jaunted 51-yards to pay dirt six plays later and Auzene’s kick gave Dutchtown a 24-9 lead with 6:58 left to play.
Brandon Lucas intercepted Coon on the next possession. Green capped the Wolves’ next series with a 2-yard touchdown run with 1:45 left to play. Coon kept for 17 yards to open the drive and hit Avery Johnson of 15 after Randy Thackery and Kendryck Johnson sacked him for a loss.
Joffrion’s kick was wide right leaving the score, 24-15.
Reid recovered the onsides kick and Perkins took a knee after three straight 4-yard runs by York.
Perkins was 3 for 8 passing for 70 yards.
Coon completed 7 of 11 passes for 73 yards and rushed for 49 yards on 11 carries. Green added 56 yards on 14 carries.
“I am more happy that we won rather than if we loss,” Saia said. “I know Redemptorist is going to win a lot of football games. They had our respect coming in and they have our respect leaving.”
“You came on the road, played a team in their home stadium where there is a lot of tradition and you took it to them and won the game,” Saia told his team after. “You rose to the occasion and did what you had to do and now we are in the game. You know and I know that we got a lot of work to do. Let’s get better than we were this week, next week.”
Dutchtown hosts Broadmoor Friday night at 7 p.m. at Griffin Field.