University High too much for St. Charles Catholic in Division II semifinal, 34-14

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BATON ROUGE — After having its season end in the state semifinals each of the last two seasons, University Laboratory High School is headed to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome after defeating St. Charles Catholic 34-14 on Friday night.

Mike Hollins led the way for the Cubs with 139 rushing yards and a pair of scores. He also competed a 43-yard pass and added one reception for three yards.

SCC held UHigh at bay through the first quarter with some opportunistic defense. The Cubs were inside the Comets’ 15 yard line when John Gordon McKernan was intercepted by Bryce Authement at the 2, killing the drive.

UHigh broke through in the second quarter. McKernan led the Cubs on a 13-play, 80 yard drive that ended with a 21-yard Aidan Gale field goal, giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

The UHigh defense set up the Cubs’ second score. Michael Martin intercepted Lloyd Nash at the SCC 48-yard line and returned it 24 yards. On the next play, McKernan hit Christian Harris over the middle. Harris broke a couple of tackles before crossing the goal line for the touchdown. The extra point gave UHigh a 10-0 lead at the half.

The Comets took advantage of a UHigh miscue to get back into the ballgame. On fourth and 12 from their own 29 yard line, a punt snap sailed over the head of Grant Bonnette. He recovered the ball but was tackeled at the one yard line. Three plays later, Nash dove over the pile for the score. The kick made the score 10-7 with 6:09 remaining in the third quarter.

UHigh would respond with a 10-play, 75 yard drive. McKernan went 3-for-4 for 69 yards, and Holiins had five carries for 35 yards, including the touchdown from two yards out. The Cubs took a 17-7 lead into the fourth quarter.

Hollins would score from 17 yards out on the next drive for the Cubs, just 15 seconds into the final quarter to put UHigh up 24-7. St. Charles Catholic fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Cubs were able to recover at the SCC 27 yard line. The drive stalled at the 10, but Gale booted his second field goal to make it 27-7 with 9:25 to play.

After stuffing an SCC fake punt attempt on defense, the Cubs effectively put the game away by giving it to Derek Lathon for four straight carries, including a two-yard touchdown that gave UHigh a 34-7 advantage.

SCC would get a late 21-yard rushing touchdown from Phillip Tran to set the final margin, but the night belonged to the Cubs. They will travel to New Orleans to face top-seeded De La Salle on Dec. 8 with the Division II championship on the line.

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David Grubb

Sports 1280am host/CCS reporter

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David Grubb has more than a decade of experience in the sports industry. He began his career with KLAX-TV in Alexandria, La. and followed that up with a stint as an reporter and anchor with WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass. After spending a few years away from the industry, David worked as sports information director for Southern University at New Orleans…

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