Aaron Thomas interception return lifts Rummel past Charlotte Catholic, 7-3

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CHARLOTTE – It was smash-mouth defensive football Friday night between Archbishop Rummel Raiders and Charlotte Catholic Cougars, but the Raiders defense prevailed in a 7-3 victory.

The Raiders defense held the Cougars to a second-quarter field goal before Aaron Thomas took an interception back 83 yards for the game’s only touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“We dealt with a lot of adversity today, and (the team) overcame it,” said Raiders head coach Nick Monica. “The defense was tired, played a bunch of snaps, but they did exactly what we needed them to do.”

Rummel’s defense created four key turnovers and a bunch of key stops. In the first quarter, Donovan Kaufman recovered a fumble, After a muffed punt gave the Cougars the ball on the Raiders’ 40 yard line, the defense produced a three-and-out.

After a Raiders fumble in the second quarter, the Raiders defense again forced a three-and-out. In the third quarter, the Cougars were driving into the red zone, but Corey Smooth intercepted a pass. He ran it back 80 yards for a potential touchdown, but a chop block after the interception erased the touchdown.

Then in the fourth quarter with Rummel still down 3-0 with less than six minutes to go, Thompson came up with the biggest play of the game.

A blitzing linebacker forced his way to the Cougars quarterback, knocking his arm and causing the football to aimlessly float in the air. It landed in Thomas’s arms, and he took off. With a blocker in front, he ran untouched 83 yards for the game-winning touchdown.

“It was a great feeling,” said Thomas. “Seeing (Jordan Williams) out in the field in front of me, I knew I was going to score.”

The next drive, the Raiders had one more huge turnover in their pocket. The Cougars were driving down the field and they entered Raiders terrority. The Cougars quarterback threw a pass over the middle, and Smooth jumped up and deflected the ball. Linebacker Kolbe Fields dove for it and caught it. That effectively ended any chance for Cougars comeback.

“We’re a brotherhood,” Fields said about the defense’s performance. “We played as a whole unit tonight ,and we came out with the victory.”

Offensively, the Raiders ran into some trouble. Quarterback Kyle Wickersham had some big passes, but he also ran into some bad luck. Right before halftime, the Raiders went from their own 5-yard line into the red zone. Wickersham threw a great pass between two defenders, but the pass hit the Raiders wide receiver in the helmet and it was intercepted.

“Our plan was to get our playmakers the ball out in space, and (Charlotte Catholic) did a good job of stopping that and tackling,” Monica said.

Rummel, now 2-0, will have a much shorter travel to Slidell High School next Friday.

Game Summary

Rummel: 0 0 0 7 — 7
Charlotte: 0 3 0 0 — 3

Final Statistics
Rummel: 4
Charlotte: 3

Rushing Yards
Rummel: 114
Charlotte: 108

Passing Yards:
Rummel: 82 yards
Charlotte: 68 yards

Total Yards:
Rummel: 196
Charlotte: 176

Rummel Rushing:
Logan Diggs 10 carries for 50 yards
Jaelen Sturgis 8 carries for 27 yards
Kyle Wickersham 4 carries 37 yards

Rummel Passing:
Kyle Wickersham 13-for-17 for 82 yards

Rummel Recieving:
Ivory Wilhight 4 catches for 56 yards
Logan Diggs 4 catches for 19 yards
Keith Robertson 2 catches for 23 yards
Koy Moore 2 catches for 1 yard
Jaelen Sturgis 1 catch for 3 yards

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