Interview: Ponchatoula scores huge district road win at Mandeville
Since a season opening loss to a very good Brother Martin squad, the Ponchatoula Greenies have ripped off three wins in impressive fashion, none more impressive than Friday night at Sid Theriot Stadium.
Ponchatoula went on the road Friday night and scored a 17-14 victory over Mandeville in a showdown of top teams in District 6-5A.
Senior kicker Jake Leitz put the Greenies on top with a 31-yard field goal.
Brandon Johnson bulled his way into the end zone on a 16-yard touchdown run and Ponchatoula led 10-0 after one quarter.
The Skippers answered as Devon Tott connected with Caden Costa on a 16-yard touchdown pass to make it 10-7 early in the second quarter and it stayed that way until halftime.
In the third quarter, the Skippers came up with a big turnover as Gabe Hughes picked off a Jacoby Matthews pass to set Mandeville up in Green Wave territory.
Then, Tott hit Landon Ibieta on a 36-yard touchdown pass to give the Skippers a 14-10 lead.
It stayed that way until the fourth quarter when junior Damontrell Osby scored on a 6-yard touchdown run and it was 17-14 Ponchatoula.
Matthews was an iron man for the Greenies, going both ways at quarterback and cornerback for the Green Wave.
For Tierney, it was the 284th win of his illustrious 34-year head coaching career.
On the Three Tailgaters Show on 106.1 FM Saturday morning, Tierney was especially pleased with the play of his offense.
“It came down to two really high scoring offenses and those games usually come down to who plays the best defense,” Tierney said. “Both teams played well. We won at the end of the game. It came down to playing good defense and the kicking game.”
While Ponchatoula has scored points under Tierney in recent years, defense has been the issue.
“We thought we would be better on defense this year and we were last night,” Tierney said. “We stopped the run. We ran the ball, which is what we need to do. It got our defense rest and they were fresh. Jake Leitz was huge with touchbacks and with his field goal. It was
probably the biggest win we’ve had since 2016. The kids were excited about it. Mandeville is a very good team.”
The Green Wave overcame adversity to post the big win.
“We have seven kids out with COVID-19 right now,” Tierney said. “It is a challenge daily. It will continue to be a challenge. We encourage our kids to stay home when out of school and to wear a mask. There are so many situations where the virus had a chance to spread.”
Ponchatoula (3-1, 3-0) will host defending district champion Slidell next Friday night in another showdown with district championship implications while Mandeville travels across town to Fontainebleau.
“Slidell is very well coached with Larry Favre and Malter Scobel, who worked with me for so many years,” Tierney said. “It will be interesting. They had a really good win last night over Hammond. We are home, fortunately. Then, we get St. Paul’s. It does not get any easier.”
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…