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Bayou Lacombe Cardinals win opener

By Scott Meyer

For the Daily News

The Bayou Lacombe Cardinals, a minor league football team, picked up a week one victory over the Alabama Wolfpack in Clanton, Ala. on Saturday night.

The Cardinals feature five former high school players from Washington Parish in Franklinton’s Markus Conerly, Kian Conerly, Lawrence Robinson and Kobe Crain and Bogalusa’s Jacob Walker and Booker Roberts.

On Saturday, after each team exchanged possessions to start the contest, the Cardinals took advantage of good field position after a Wolfpack failed attempt on a fourth-and-short yardage attempt from their own 48. Cardinals linebacker William Cummings (Block High) tackled Wolfpack running back Dekorian Vanderbilt in the backfield for a 3-yard loss.

Bayou Lacombe started the drive at the Alabama 45 yard line. Running back Jeremy Griffin (St. Helena High) capped off the five-play 45-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run at the 7:15 mark in the first. After a blocked extra point attempt the Cardinals led 6-0.

Alabama came right back looking to answer the Cardinals score with a score of their own. The Wolfpack drove 48 yards on six plays and looked poised to either tie or take the lead in the first. Wolfpack quarterback Christian Briscoe attempted to hit his receiver in the endzone, but Cardinals defensive back Conerly intercepted the pass ending the scoring threat.

Bayou Lacombe then drove 61 yards and was looking to add to its lead, but quarterback Danizel Ladner (Covington High) was intercepted at the Wolfpack 12-yard line as the first-quarter horn sounded. Late in the second quarter, the Cardinals completed a seven-play 74-yard drive with Ladner connecting with wide receiver Cameron Everett (Block High) on a 50-yard touchdown pass putting Bayou Lacombe ahead 12-0. A second blocked extra point was returned for the two-point conversion.

The score also put Alabama on the board with 1:44 remaining before half.

In the second half things turned for the worse for Alabama after receiving the second half kickoff. On 1st-and-10 from their own 23-yard line Cardinals defensive end Theodore Conrad (Fontainebleau High) intercepted a Briscoe pass and returned the interception 23 yards for the touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion run by Griffin, the Cardinals led 20-2 at the 14:43 mark in the 3rd quarter.

Alabama finally took advantage of good field position, taking over at the Bayou Lacombe 45 after a short Cardinals punt. It took the Wolfpack 14 plays to travel just 45 yards, scoring when Briscoe connected with wide receiver Jarvus Wilson from 13 yards out. After an unsuccessful two-point attempt, the Wolfpack still trailed 20-8 with 14 minutes remaining in the fourth.

The final score of the evening came when Ladner connected with Darin Airline (Independence High), this time it was from 48 yards out, capping off the three-play 59-yard drive. After the second successful two-point conversion by running back Robinson, the Cardinals led 28-8.

Ladner led the Cardinals with 11-of-25 passes for 172 yards. Ladner was also the leading rusher with 45 yards on the ground on three carries.

Everett led the six Cardinals receivers with 50 yards on his one touchdown reception.

Airline’s 48-yard touchdown pass put him right behind Everett in total yardage.

Briscoe finished the evening 15-of-31 for 105 yards. Briscoe was also the leading Wolfpack rusher with 56 yards on 10 carries.

Alabama will host the Columbus Storm and Bayou Lacombe will open their home schedule hosting rival Panhandle Crusaders on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Slidell Youth Football Association, located at SYFA 3158 Terrace Ave. in Slidell.

The Bayou Lacombe Cardinals provide guidance and opportunities for adult athletes, while providing entertainment and community outreach for St. Tammany and surrounding parishes.

For more information on the Cardinals, check their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.