Photograph: An Opelousas High defender grabs a fumble and rolls into the end zone for a score. (Photograph by Freddie Herpin)
The Homecoming celebration started early for Opelousas High Friday night, as the game was seemingly over just minutes after it began.
Opelousas separated from Livonia High early, scoring four times during the first 12 minutes, as the Tigers returned to Donald Gardner Stadium for the first time this season with a 61-0 victory.
Perhaps energized by a large crowd that crammed into the stands, with more watching from the perimeter fence located outside the stadium, the Tigers began the district portion of their 2023 schedule with a 22-play, 328 total offense performance.
The Tigers (5-2), scored on their first offensive play – a 50-yard pass from quarterback Zach Malveaux to wide receiver Corey Fontenot – and subsequently used three more offensive TD’s to quickly further separate.
Fontenot and Malveaux connected later on three more touchdowns of 56, 32 and 14 yards.
Those Malveaux-Fontenot scoring passes accounted for much of the Tigers’ 209 yards passing.
Opelousas, which held Livonia (2-5, 1-1) to 69 total yards, also used defense and special teams to score three more times.
Colin Fontenot picked up a punt that was apparently tipped and returned the ball for a second TD less than three minutes after the Tigers provided the first score of the game.
Cory Amos and Travis Esprit also collected Livonia fumbles and returned those for second half touchdowns.
Opelousas extended the lead to 29-0 on the final play of the first period when running back D’Shan Ford broke away on a 55-yard run, while Malveaux scored on the next offensive series when he executed a 53-yard cutback run to score with 8:16 in the second quarter.
Two of the Malveaux-Fontenot touchdown throws came during the third period.
Opelousas went 63 yards on the first second half possession and scored on a 32-yard throw that was caught by Fontenot. On the next series, Fontenot caught another TD pass of 14 yards after the Tigers took possession at the Livonia 9-yard line.
Livonia launched a scoring threat at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats moved 42 yards on seven running plays, but the drive ended on the Opelousas 49 on a lost fumble.
NEXT WEEK: Opelousas goes to Cecilia.