Two quarterbacks, one outstanding defense fuel 45-0 opening win for St. Thomas More over Lafayette
LAFAYETTE — The two-quarterback system works for St. Thomas More.
So does the running attack, which Cougar coach Jim Hightower says takes a ton of pressure off his two talented but inexperienced quarterbacks.
And the STM defense doesn’t appear to have missed a beat from the unit that was dominant in leading the Cougars to last December’s state title.
That all added up to a 45-0 whipping of Lafayette High Friday night at Cougar Stadium in a season opener for a Cougar team that looked in mid-season form. The defending Division II state champions scored on two of their first three offensive plays, had a 28-0 lead before the mid-point of the second quarter, and held the visiting Lions to only two first downs after halftime and 107 total yards overall.
“We didn’t give up any big plays at all,” said Cougar coach Jim Hightower, who notched win No. 397 in his 43-year Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame career. “They (Lafayette High) got that one good drive and missed the field goal, and that sort of turned the tide for us early.”
What turned the tide even earlier was a quick-strike running attack. STM (1-0) scored only two plays after the kickoff, forced a punt just over a minute later and Chris Primeaux took off on a sweep to the right side and went 70 almost-untouched yards for a 14-0 lead exactly 101 seconds into play.
Primeaux was one of three Cougar running backs to score touchdowns in the game’s first 14 minutes. Primeaux, running back mates Sydney Lindon and William Cryer and quarterback Peyton Landry combined for 306 of STM’s 311-yard rushing total.
“It’s really great to have guys that can come in and do that,” said Primeaux, who finished with 103 rush yards and two scores on only four carries. “After that 70-yard run I was pretty winded, and for them to come in and give me a break … and then do the same exact thing … that’s gonna happen for us a lot.
“I think we showed we can do anything. We can run, we can throw. Anyone looking at the film of us tonight, they may not have a clue of what we’re capable of doing.”
Lafayette High didn’t quit after the two early STM strikes, and the Lions threatened to make a game of it when they drove to the Cougar 25 with the ensuing kickoff on quarterback Brennon Broussard’s short-passing game and a pair of interference penalties.
But that drive stalled, Jacques Comeaux’s 42-yard field goal was short, and the rest of the night the Lions (0-1) recorded only six first downs and ran only one play inside the STM 40-yard-line. That came on their final play before freshman backup quarterback Xan Saunier’s deep pass was intercepted.
Just like in their Kiwanis Club Jamboree win over St. Martinville, the Cougars used rotating quarterbacks with Landry and Caleb Holstein each playing almost two quarters. Landry completed all three of his passes but was more impressive on the ground with a 41-yard draw play setting up his own two-yard touchdown run that made it 28-0 midway through the second period.
Holstein hit on five of his seven passes for 61 yards including a 30-yard touchdown strike to Mason Pesson late in the second quarter for a 35-0 halftime lead.
“Peyton showed he’s a threat with the ball under his arm,” Hightower said. “I thought both of them played really well.”
Of course, 227 rushing yards in the first half made things a little easier for the pair, but Primeaux said he didn’t relax even with the big early lead.
“Ever since last year when we went up on University High 21-0 in the first quarter, and then it was decided on the last play of the game,” he said, “I’m never comfortable with a lead.”
“Those three running backs, they do a really smart job of running,” Hightower said. “They’re patient and they find seams, and they do a good job of following blocks. And our offensive line was doing a good job of getting on people and carrying out the blocking schemes. I feel pretty good about where we are for week one.”
STM – Sydney Lindon 3 run (Trevor Robertson kick)
STM – Chris Primeaux 70 run (Robertson kick)
STM – William Cryer 5 run (Robertson kick)
STM – Peyton Landry 2 run (Robertson kick)
STM – Mason Pesson 30 pass from Caleb Holstein (Robertson kick)
STM – Primeaux 8 run (Robertson kick)
STM – Robertson 22 field goal
RUSHING – LHS: Corren Norman10-30, Brian Charles 3-19, Xan Saunier 2-7,Brelynn Lee 1-4, John Simmons 1-3, Brennon Broussard 2-minus 3, Kavon Valliere 1-minus 5. STM: Chris Primeaux 4-103 2 TD, Sydney Lindon 8-88 1 TD, William Cryer 8-61 1 TD, Peyton Landry 3-54 1 TD, Camden Rentrop 6-13, Dalen Cambre 2-6, Caleb Holstein 1-minus 2, team 2-minus 12.
PASSING – LHS: Broussard 13-17-1, 45 yds.; Saunier 3-11-1, 7 yds. STM: Holstein 5-7-0, 61 yds., 1 TD; Landry 3-3-0, 23 yds.; Cambre 2-1-0, 3 yds.
RECEIVING – LHS: Brennan Chenevert 4-18, Norman 5-7, Braylon Willis 2-24, Canaan Leon 3-2, Simmons 2-1. STM: Mason Pesson 3-44 1 TD, Jean-Luc LeBlanc 2-21, Primeaux 1-11, John Robertson 1-9, Mack Moncla 1-3, Lindon 1-minus 1.
Records: STM 1-0, LHS 0-1. Next: STM at Comeaux Friday; LHS hosts St. Martinville Friday.
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