Dutchtown’s defense denies Catholic, York busts loose

Peter Silas Pasqua
Dutchtown running back Kelvin York races past Catholic’s Matthew Briggs on a 33-yard run in the second quarter Friday night. York led all rushers with 195 yards on 22 carries in the Griffins’ 13-7 victory.

GEISMAR - Dutchtown’s defense held Catholic out of the end zone courtesy of a goalline stand and running back Kelvin York busted loose for 195 yards on 22 carries as the sixth ranked Griffins won a non-district battle 13-7 Friday night at Griffin Field.

“That is eight quarters they haven’t scored on us,” Dutchtown head Benny Saia told his team after the victory referring to the Griffins’ 9-0 Class 5A regional playoff victory over Catholic last November. “We aren’t where we want to be but we are getting a little closer every week. It is just as hard to have success as it is to have failure. Don’t let your ego get big. Keep your feet on the 

ground and get back to work.”

Catholic’s offense drove inside the Griffins 10 in each half but scored no points as Dutchtown’s defense sacked quarterback Zach Oliver, who rotated with Josh Lange, three times in the first half and limited the Bears to just 139 yards of total offense.

“Our defense played outstanding,” Saia said. “I can’t say enough about them. We put them in a tough spot and they bowed their  neck.

“(Catholic is) so scary everytime they snap the ball. I know they are struggling right now but they are going to win a bunch of  football games. When they spread the field, we take a lineman out and put another defensive back in the game. We got some pressure on (Oliver) but they are a big-play offense. I thought it was a great football game and I am glad we won. Our guys battled. They always have ever since I have been here.”

Dutchtown (4-0) stopped running back Lonnie Locket on fourth and goal from the Griffin 2 to deny Catholic with 10:47 left in the game to ending the Bears’ 17-play drive.

“You have to convert when you get the chance and we didn’t,” Catholic head coach Dale Weiner said. “You have to be able to finish a drive.

“It was a physical football game and a lot of smash mouth on both sides. Physically, we probably didn’t match up with some of their guys but our defense played their hearts out. Congratulations to them. They have an outstanding team.”

Catholic (1-3) forced Dutchtown to punt on the opening possession of the game before a leaping Marcus Godfrey intercepted Oliver at the Bear 42 a play after Kendryck Johnson sacked him for a 3-yard loss.

Quarterback Wesley Perkins found Cody Vicknair left alone down the right sideline two plays later for a 30-yard scoring connection. Grant Dubroc dropped kicker Grant Auzene after a high snap to leave  the score 6-0 with 8:11 left in the first quarter.

“They put so many guys in the box, they make it hard to drive the football,” Saia said. “I thought Kelvin banged it in there and came out the other end a couple of times. The first touchdown pass 

was big. We thought we could throw the ball a little bit more but the game got so tight and restrictive that you didn’t want to make a mistake. I thought Wesley did a great job of controlling the game.”

Richard White returned the ensuing kickoff 41 yards and Catholic drove 52-yards in nine plays to the Griffin 7 but Jonathan Darville blocked Chris Sciambra’s 23-yard field goal attempt with 3:56 left in the quarter. Oliver connected with Jovhan Jilbert for 20 yards to cross midfield before hitting Brad Nelson for a 19-yard gain after Johnson and Grant Medine sacked him for a 5-yard loss.

Two possessions later, York busted loose for a 33-yard pickup to spark an 8-play, 50-yard drive to the Bears 10, but Effrem Reed bobbled a hand-off and John Paul Luckett recovered.

Johnson sacked Oliver again for a 6-yard loss to stop the ensuing possession and York broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and sprinted down the right sideline on way to a 53-yard touchdown run a play later. Auzene’s kick gave Dutchtown a 13-0 lead with 6:54 left 

in the first half.

Marcus Thomas weaved through a wedge and returned the ensuing kickoff  98 yards to pay dirt for Catholic’s only score of the night. 

Sciambra’s kick cut the Griffins’ lead to 13-7 with 6:40 left in the half.

Neither team crossed midfield in the four possessions that followed  before half-time while Catholic’s drive to the goal line and  Dutchtown’s last possession that ran the clock out took up most of the second half.

Dutchtown drove 38 yards into Bears’ territory on the second possession of the half behind York’s runs of 17 and 13 yards but the back was stopped a yard shy at the Catholic 42 on fourth and two.

It then took Catholic 17-plays to drive 56 yards where Lockett was denied on fourth down after an encroachment penalty by Dutchtown opted the Bears to go for pay dirt. Thomas’ 2-yard run converted a  fourth down to cross midfield before the Bears converted three third downs including Oliver’s 17-yard completion to Nelson.

“I think our defense became a huge family on the field,” Dutchtown defensive lineman Richard Buckland said. “We all had faith in each other and held it together tonight. We wouldn’t be anything right now if we didn’t play as a team. Our offense did amazing. They drove the ball and controlled the clock. Everybody played their part and did what we were taught to do and that goal line stand was one of the  best feelings ever.”

Dutchtown was forced to punt from their own end zone before getting the ball back after another three-and-out at their own 13, where the Griffins used a 14-play drive to end the game. The Griffins converted two third downs and one fourth down during the march across midfield. 

Colby Little hauled in a 12-yard completion over the middle as Perkins rolled right to keep the drive alive on third-and-nine and York’s 2-yard run on fourth down sealed the victory.

Dutchtown opens District 5-5A Friday night against East Ascension at  Griffin Field.

Dutchtown defenders Jonathan Darville, Leonard Wyatt and Justin Rivere deny Catholic’s Lonnie Lockett on fourth down at the Griffin 2-yard line Friday night to preserve a 13-7 victory.