On the defensive side, Vermilion Catholic defensive end Tristen Kelly and linebacker Mark LaPorte had dominant performances against visiting 2A Sojourner Truth, earning them the Abbeville Meridional/Gulf Coast Bank Defensive Players of the Week honors.
In a 60-8 victory that pushed the Eagles to a perfect 8-0 season record, Kelly and LaPorte pushed the Truth offense around.
Kelly had eight tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery. LaPorte had seven tackles, one of which was for a loss, and a pass break up. LaPorte also had a punt return for a touchdown. LaPorte only saw action in the first two quarters of play.
Kelly said he felt the Eagles could keep putting up dominant defensive performances for weeks to come.
“There are no big heads here,” said Kelly. “We’ve just got to keep doing what we do.”
LaPorte said this season has seen a coming together of the players on the VC squad, which has led to the team’s success in 2011.
“I think everybody’s just more experienced,” he said. “Everybody’s just having a lot more fun.”
LaPorte said he had no concerns that there would be a let down heading into the end of the season, stating that the goal was the same now as it was when the season started.
“Why not,” he said. “a state championship.”
There were several players in the parish who had solid offensive performances in week eight, but Kaplan sophomore Tyson Broussard’s breakout performance against visiting Berwick pushed him to the fore.
Broussard led all rushers in the Pirates’ 45-14 whooping of the Panthers with 114 yards on only seven carries. He had a long rush of 60 yards which resulted in the first of his two touchdowns. Broussard also scored on a 60-yard catch and run from Kaplan quarterback Kameron Abshire.
Both of Broussard’s touchdowns came in the second quarter, within three minutes of each other, and were scored back-to-back.
This Friday, the Pirates will host Erath as they try to perform a 180-degree turnaround from their early-season record. The playoffs, which not long ago seemed like an impossibility for the Pirates, are within reach.
“We’ll probably have to win out,” said Broussard of Kaplan’s chances at post-season play. “But we’ve been working really hard every day in practice. We’ll be ready.”
VC’s Jacoby Davis was also in contention for the Player of the Week honor, as he has been nearly every week since the start of the season. Davis put up 188 yards and three TDs against Truth, all on 11 carries.
North Vermilion’s Jeremy James was another parish stand-out who had a solid game against Abbeville for the Pats’ homecoming game.
James had 133 yards on 16 carries with two rushing touchdowns. He also had two catches for 85 yards.