Catholic ground game too much for St. Augustine, 42-19

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BATON ROUGE – The defending Division I State Champion Catholic Bears rolled past St. Augustine with big plays on Friday night, 42-19.

The Bears rushed for 360 yards and scored four times on plays of 30-plus yards in victory.

Junior tailback Joshua Parker raced 72 yards on the first offensive play from scrimmage to put the Bears up early. It set the tone for the night.

“The offensive line tonight was really spectacular. The tailbacks running the ball and receivers blocking on the perimeter,” said Catholic coach Gabe Fertita. “The 10-yard runs, those are the lineman. But when you get the big long ones, some receivers are doing work, too.”

The Bears and Purple knight combined a year ago in the very same quarterfinal round to score just 10 points in a 7-3 Catholic High victory. In the rematch, the teams combined for nine touchdowns.

“We knew this would be a much different game,” said Fertita. “We have more experience and a lot more playmakers at the running back position.”

St. Augustine (6-6) evened the score on a short field in the first period after a fumble recovery on the Bears 35-yard line. Just three plays later, Justin Doyle scored from three yards out. Parker rushed for 148 yards on just 10 rushes added a second score on a 19-yard run to give Catholic the lead for good early in the second quarter.

Jake Outlaw, another Bears junior, added 137 yards on eight carries including a 64-yard scamper to start the second half and a 37 yard score in the fourth quarter to provide the final margin.

Bears quarterback Cameron Dartez had a couple weeks to rest up from injury with the bye week and looked sharp in limited opportunities. He tossed a pair of scores in only seven attempts. His 15 yard toss to Greg Martin and a 29 yard post route to Braelen Morgan in the third period expanded Catholic’s lead to 35-13.

Senior quarterback Trevon Woodson led the way for the Purple Knights, competing 16-of-21 passes for 195 yards and one score on a 12 yard connection with Broderick Martin on an out route in the third period.

Mahmood Bailey’s two-yard touchdown capped off an 85-yard drive that trimmed the Bears lead to 35-19 early in the fourth before Outlaw put the game out of reach.

“Our guys never quit. They kept fighting but as a program we have to grow and develop to where when we have these opportunities, we seize the moments and not make mental errors,” said St. Aug coach Nathaniel Jones. “Week-to-week, we didn’t have consistency and it shows up here against a good Catholic team. If you play behind the chains, you’re forced into a passing situation and you don’t want that. You want to have that balance.”

Catholic (10-1) advances to host Rummel (9-2) in the semifinals next weekend.

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