Bogalusa blanked by Jewel Sumner

Published 9:30 pm Friday, October 18, 2013

The Bogalusa Lumberjacks ran into the wrong team to try to get well against Thursday night at Jewel Sumner.

The Cowboys had suffered an overtime loss to Albany the previous week that knocked them out of the state rankings, and Thursday they took their frustrations out of the Lumberjacks, stifling Bogalusa’s attack and cruising to a 35-0 District 8-3A homecoming victory.

Sumner (6-1, 1-1) never allowed Bogalusa (2-5, 0-2) to get anything going. The Lumberjacks never advanced past midfield, picking up just three first downs (one by penalty). Bogalusa managed just 47 rushing yards and 19 passing, and Sumner came up with three interceptions, one of which Stevie Pittman returned 20 yards for a touchdown.

Bogalusa coach Craig Jones said it was a case of the Cowboys handling their homecoming clutter better than his team handled the fair week noise.

“They were aroused because Albany upset them last week, but this is always a tough week for us,” Jones said. “We get a week out of school — not making any excuses — but players’ minds are on the fair, some of them are not here. But (Sumner) coach (Zephaniah) Powell does a great job. He had his team ready through all the distractions. We didn’t handle distractions, and that’s what happens.”

The Bogalusa offense continues to struggle. Quarterback Reggie Roberts struggled to connect with his receivers, going 3 for 18 passing for 19 yards, with the three picks. He did lead the BHS ground game with 13 carries for 29 yards.

Sumner quarterback Rhett Travis, on the other hand, went 11 for 22 for 148 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.

“My (players’) parents were asking, ‘Coach, where was that team last week?’” Powell said afterwards. “I give credit to my coaching staff; they came up with the game plan, and we came out and executed. We did what we wanted to do.

“We really want to try to play fast, offensively, defensively and special teams. From the time we got on the field, the kids were focused and the outcome tonight was a good one for us.”

Bogalusa managed to stop three Sumner possessions in the first half, though one of those was a kneel-down at the horn. Kendrell Andrews provided one of the few Lumberjack highlights with an interception to end Sumner’s first possession.

But Travis engineered a 44-yard scoring drive he capped with a 1-yard touchdown sneak, and Sumner scored again less than three minutes later after an interception by Stephen Holland turned into a 21-yard touchdown pass from Travis to Bryant James for a 12-0 lead early in the second quarter.

The Cowboys blew it open with three touchdowns in a span of just 37 seconds. Jerome Cutrer’s 41-yard punt return set up a short drive capped by an 8-yard touchdown run by Freddie Moreno.

Sumner added six more just 12 seconds later with Pittman’s pick-six, and after Holland fell on an onside kick, Travis went up top for a 47-yard touchdown pass to Dion Hart that made it 33-0 at halftime.

Sumner got its final points from its defense. Bogalusa’s Trey Thomas recovered a Sumner fumble at the BHS 7. But two plays later Dedrick Briggs was stripped of the ball and it bounced into the end zone, where the Lumberjacks recovered it for a safety with 3:44 to play.

Jones is looking forward to a long week of preparation as the Lumberjacks get ready to host Independence Friday.

“It’s just one of those years where we’ve had a lot of injuries, and we’re young,” Jones said. “But you’ve got to have effort and come out and play. We didn’t show up this night, but we’ve got three days off. Just come back Monday and get ready for Independence.”