Rummel smothers Ruston in 41-0 win
With a reputation for having one of the best defenses in Louisiana, Rummel faced a big, physical Ruston team Saturday afternoon. It may be that the Raiders may have the best defense in the state. You will not get much of an argument from the Bearcats.
The Raiders intercepted five passes, by five different players and came up with seven turnovers in a brilliant effort while Kyle Wickersham accounted for five touchdowns in a 41-0 victory at Joe Yenni Stadium in a game heard live at 106.1 FM NASH ICON.
In four games, Rummel has not given up a touchdown, yielding just six points to four excellent opponents.
In a battle of traditional south and north Louisiana powers who wear red with a big “R” on their respective helmets, the southern version prevailed in predominant fashion in the southern heat of a 90 degree afternoon of Metairie.
It was the first meeting of the two entities since the 1982 Class 4A semifinals when Ruston, with Michael Brooks, won 14-3 over the Raiders in Metairie and went on to win the state title the next week.
Wickersham completed 10-of-18 passes for 122 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores.
I feel like there’s no pressure on the offense because the defense is going to win the game,” Wickersham said. “We’re going to get a good look at the (opposing) defense because we’re on the field for so many plays. I feel like we’ve been one play away and today we made those plays.”
First-year Raiders head coach Nick Monica was very pleased with the play of his junior quarterback.
“It starts with Kyle,” Monica said. “He made some great decisions today and stuck some balls in there. It started with him and our running game got going. That was good to see.”
After getting a stop, Rummel got the ball at the Ruston 43-yard line and took advantage of the field position, driving 43 yards in 10 plays with Kyle Wickersham hitting Ivory Wilwright for a 17-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 with 4:09 to play in the first quarter.
The Rummel defense then came up big as Aaron Thomas intercepted a Jaden Procell pass at the Bearcat 24-yard line. Rummel needed just one play to capitalize as Wickersham again hit Wilwright for a score, this time from 24 yards out and Rummel had a 14-0 lead with 3:18 to play in the first quarter.
The Raiders drove 67 yards in eight plays with Wickersham scoring on a 1-yard run to make it 21-0 with 5:57 to play in the half.
The defense continued to pour it on as Quinton Cage stopped a Ruston drive with an interception before Donovan Kaufman intercepted Procell and returned it 54 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-0 with 1:36 to play in the half.
Corey Smooth, Malik Woodery and Quinton Cage also had interceptions for the Raiders in the first half. Woodery and Thomas each had a fumble recovery as well.
On its first possession of the second half, the Raiders drove 89 yards in 11 plays with Wickersham hitting LSU commitment Koy Moore on a 35-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-0 with 3:31 to play in the quarter.
Woodery then recovered a fumble, the seventh turnover by Ruston. That set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Wickersham on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 41-0 after a blocked extra point.
“Our defense stepped up,” Monica said. “We were worried about their size and physicality but our guys stood their ground very well. Our starters are getting the job done. They are an experienced group. They understand the scheme. The gap integrity is there. Credit to our backups. They’ve been in a couple of games already and they kept them out of the end zone.”
Logan Diggs had 16 carries for 111 yards to pace the Raider rushing attack. Wilwright had four catches for 76 yards and the two touchdowns. Rummel held Ruston to 158 total yards with many coming in the fourth quarter with reserve players in the game.
The Raider defense has now forced 17 turnovers in four games. Procell finished 1-of-8 passing for 12 yards with the five interceptions. Kentravion Hargrove led the Bearcats (1-3) with nine carries for 72 yards.
Rummel returns to action next Saturday against Archbishop Shaw at 7 p.m. at Joe Yenni Stadium in the annual Megaphone game which you can listen to live at 106.1 FM NASH ICON while Ruston will host Woodlawn of Shreveport Friday at 7 p.m.
“It’s a great league and everybody is well coached,” Monica said. “Shaw is a talented group. We’ve got to keep rolling and get healthy as we have some guys banged up.”
RUMMEL 14 14 7 6 — 41
RUSTON 0 0 0 0 — 0
First Downs: Rummel 18, Ruston 11
Penalties: Rummel 6 for 80 yards, Ruston 3 for 30 yards
Sacks: Rummel 1, Ruston 1
Turnovers: Rummel 0, Ruston 7
Rushing Yards: Rummel 210, Ruston 145
Passing Yards: Rummel 122, Ruston 13
Total Yards: Rummel 332, Ruston 158
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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…