Cardinals win to go to 2-0 this season

Published 12:42 pm Friday, March 18, 2022

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By Scott Meyer

Special to the Daily News

Defense propelled Bayou Lacombe to a 20-6 win over Pike County on Saturday night at Lakeshore.

Bayou Lacombe knew coming in that this would be a battle to the end with the scrappy Pike County squad. Last year, the Cardinals defeated the Titans 16-6 in Mississippi on their way to winning the western division.

Pike County got on the board first after taking advantage of a Bayou Lacombe miscue deep in Cardinals territory due to a botched snap on a punt attempt with the Titans taking over at the Bayou Lacombe 21-yard line. It took the Titans one play to get on the board when quarterback Daniel Mcgaffery hit wide receiver Thomas Downs on a 21-yard scoring strike. Pike County elected to go for two instead of kicking the extra point, but was unsuccessful. The score put Pike County ahead 6-0 with 55 seconds left in the first quarter.

Bayou Lacombe knotted the score at 6-6 late in the second after defensive back Casterdale Collier (Hammond High Magnet School) grabbed his second interception of the night at the Titans 15. Quarterback Jervious Epherson (Northshore High School) connected with wide receiver Darrin Airline (Independence High Magnet School) on a 17-yard scoring strike with 5:35 remaining before the break. After a missed extra point the score was tied 6-6.

Pike County received the opening second half kick and drove 32 yards on 10 plays to the Bayou Lacombe 33 yard line, but turned the ball over on downs after a fourth down attempted pass fell incomplete.

The Cardinals grabbed the lead marching 67 yards on five plays with the drive ending when Epherson hit wide receiver Arthur Ashton (Hammond High Magnet School) on a 28-yard scoring pass. After another missed extra point the Cardinals led 12-6 at the 3:49 mark in the third.

Bayou Lacombe went back to work after forcing a Titans punt on their ensuing possession. It took the Cardinals just one play to increase their lead. Epherson and Airline connected for a second time on the night, this time from 48 yards out. Bayou Lacombe added the two-point conversion with Epherson hitting wide receiver Xavier Chatman (Lakeshore High School) in the endzone for two points. With just 49 seconds remaining in the third the Cardinals led 20-6.

Neither team was able to crack the scoreboard on the fourth as the Cardinals defense suffocated the Titans offense and Bayou Lacombe utilized the opportunity to get valuable playing time from its backup signal caller.

Bayou Lacombe’s defense continues to be the mainstay for the Birds in grabbing another five sacks with Abraham Dawson (Salmen High School) picking up two of his team leading five sacks through two weeks of the season. Defensive end Ted Conrad (Fontainebleau High School), defensive back Collier and defensive lineman Emanuel Doyle (Edna Karr High School) also added one sack each. Collier grabbed three of his league leading five interceptions in the contest. The Cardinals limited the Titans to 99 total yards of offense.

The Cardinals offense was led by Epherson passing for 13-of-18 attempts for 212 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

Ashton led all receivers with 94 yards on five catches and one touchdown.

Airline ended his night with 71 yards on two catches and two scores.

The Titans rushing offense was led by backup quarterback Trivillian Williams ending with 31 yards on five carries. Quarterback Daniel McGaffeny led the way passing going 7-of-15 for 47 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions.

This week, Pike County returns home to take on the Crescent City Rampage in Mccomb, Miss.

Bayou Lacombe travels to New Augusta, Miss. to take on the South Mississippi Badgers on March 19.