(Photo of Ascension Catholic running back Chad Elzy, Jr. moves past and Opelousas Catholic tackler, taken by Mike Curley)
BOBBY ARDOIN Editor/Consulting Writer
A high-scoring game against Ascension Catholic was a possibility that Opelousas Catholic head football Cullen Matherne considered before kickoff Friday night.
However, Matherne was admittedly surprised by the impressive offensive numbers both teams registered at Donald Gardner Stadium during a second round Division IV select football playoff game.
The teams combined for 120 points, 1,001 yards and 17 touchdowns as ACS eliminated the Vikings in the postseason for a second straight year..
“I thought there could be a lot of points scored, but not to this extent,” said Matherne, who completed his first season at OCS.
ACS running back Chad Elzy, Jr. was practically unstoppable as he rushed 28 times for 450 yards and nine touchdowns during the 77-43 victory.
While the performance of Elzy was electrifying as he finished with over 500 total yards, Matherne praised the ACS blocking schemes that allowed the Bulldogs’ junior running back to frequently slash into the back end of the Vikings’ defense.
“We faced a veteran offensive line that outweighed us and was able to push us around. They were often setting us back on our heels. You have to take your hat off to them. They were more physical,” Matherne said.
Matherne said OCS (7-4) was busy making defensive adjustments during much of the 48 minutes, but ACS usually seemed to respond with ways that maneuvered Elzy into open spaces and into the Vikings’ secondary.
The victory also extended the recent dominance that ACS (10-2) has exhibited against the Vikings.
ACS has defeated OCS four times since 2022, a win streak that includes the two playoff victories. Earlier this year OCS led during the third quarter, but lost to the Bulldogs 39-38.
OCS running back Royce Butler provided much of
Butler broke away on TD runs of 69, 49 and 13 yards.
Vikings’ senior quarterback Mark Collins, who was recognized before the start of the game for his regular season school passing record of 2,712 yards, threw for 253 against the Bulldogs.
Collins completed 18 of 33 passes and a first quarter, 32-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roderick Tezeno, who caught four Collins’ attempts for 85 yards.
Wide receiver Deontrae Henry had three receptions for 56.
OCS finished with 204 team rushing yards, as Collins was sacked twice for losses of 23 yards.
How They Scored
The teams traded touchdowns for most of the first period.
Elzy scored three times, while the Vikings scored twice on the 37 pass from Collins to Tezeno and a breakaway run by Butler, which helped give OCS a 14-12 lead, the last advantage by the Vikings.
In the second quarter Elzy scored on unanswered touchdowns that provided the Bulldogs with a 44-20 advantage by intermission.
During the first two quarters, the teams had already combined for 618 yards and 64 points.
OCS made a final run during the third quarter, as the Vikings twice closed twice within 16 points.
However two more touchdown runs by Elzy of 22 and 35 yards helped ACS reestablish the lead (64-36).