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Cardinals top Lightning to stay undefeated

By Scott Meyer

For the Daily News

Bayou Lacombe sloshed to another victory, in Slidell, Saturday night, 7-6, over the Louisiana Lightning to improve to 6-0 on the season.

Coming into the game both teams knew field conditions would play a huge factor in the contest.

Louisiana scored their only points of the game after taking advantage of a Cardinal’s miscue midway through the first quarter. Bayou Lacombe turned the ball over on downs after an errant punt attempt on a bad snap. The Lightning took over at the Bayou Lacombe 33 yard line. Louisiana needed just four plays to gain the lead in the highly contested matchup.

Louisiana Lightning running back Antawan Junior plunged in from the one-yard line to complete the four-play, 33-yard drive with 6:53 remaining in the first quarter. The Lightning elected to go for the two-point conversion instead of kicking the traditional extra point. Bayou Lacombe defensive end Ted Conrad (Fontainebleau High School) and linebacker Lawrence Robinson disrupted the pass attempt by quarterback Dwan Montgomery spoiling the attempt leaving the score at 6-0. Robinson went to Franklinton High School.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Lightning was penalized for illegal touching due to the ball not traveling 10 yards before the receiving team touched the ball. On first down quarterback Denizel Ladner (Covington High School) hit wide receiver Mark Mornay (Pope John Paul II High School) for an apparent 29-yard touchdown pass after stripping the ball from the defender, but officials ruled the pass an interception and forward progress was called which ended the play.

The Lightning threatened late in the first half by going on a 13-play, 45-yard drive, but the Cardinals defense stiffened and forced Louisiana to turn the ball over on downs after consecutive negative rushing plays by Cardinals defenders Robinson and defensive end Demoriea Dorsey (Gulfport High School).

In the second half neither team was able to establish anything offensively and both teams’ kicking game was limited due to deteriorating field conditions.

The Cardinals  finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter by going on an 11-play, 43-yard drive. Ladner hit wide receiver Archie Ambo (Northshore High School) for a 17-yard touchdown with 12:32 remaining. Bayou Lacombe gained the lead when kicker Donald Gonzalez (Rutherford High) kicked the extra point.

Louisiana looked to regain the lead after Junior broke loose on a 66-yard run down the visiting sideline on the first play of the Lightning drive to the Bayou Lacombe 13-yard line. The Cardinals defense suffocated Louisiana and forced the Lightning to turn the ball over on downs at the Bayou Lacombe 12.

After a Bayou Lacombe punt, Louisiana took over again in Cardinals territory at the Cardinal 48 with 3:56 remaining in the fourth. The Lightning was forced into a fourth-and-long from their own 46 after a 10-yard loss on a bad snap.

Bayou Lacombe sealed the Lightning’s fate when Robinson intercepted Montgomery’s desperation pass with 1:56 remaining in the contest. The Cardinals kneeled out the clock preserving the hard fought win.

Both teams offenses were held in check most of the evening.

Ladner was limited to 6-of-18 for 24 yards.

Running back Michael Mercadel (Chalmette High School) led the six Cardinals rushers with 25 yards on four carries.

Montgomery finished the evening 6-of-17 passing attempts for 60 yards.

Junior added 96 rushing yards on 16 attempts.

On April 24, the Louisiana Lightning has a bye. The Bayou Lacombe Cardinals travel to McComb, Miss. to take on the Pike County Titans.