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Photograph: Opelousas High quarterback Zach Malveaux passed for one touchdown and ran for another against Teurlings.

Editor/Consulting Writer

The start of the regular 2023 Opelousas High football season unfolded in familiar fashion on Friday night.

For the fourth straight time the Tigers began a year with a defeat at Teurlings Catholic and the 34-16 score was strikingly similar to the previous results between the two programs since 2019.

Teurling has scored no fewer than 32 points in each of those victories.

This time Opelousas was victimized by the totality of its own mistakes.

There were numerous false starts and illegal procedures offensively and four dropped passes by receivers who at the time were uncontested by the Rebels’ secondary.

Senior Teurlings’ quarterback Preston Welch was also a problem for the Tigers. Welch, who is getting a glimpse from college recruiters, threw for three touchdowns and 352 yards.

The Rebels also rushed for 130 yards, as Teurlings rused former Acadiana High standout Ayden Trahan and running backs Brody Springs and Reese Smith.

Teurlings raced to a fast first quarter start (13-0) when Welch completed a 70-yard throw to Travis Gallien. That score was followed by a 60-yard, second quarter drive where Trahan ran for 41 yards and Welch completed a 14-yard pass to receiver Bradford Cain for the key plays..

The Opelousas offense, which had gained 39 total first quarter yards,  cut the lead to 12 points with a 78-yard scoring drive that featured the running and throwing of quarterback Zach Malveaux.

Malveaux completed three passes during the scoring drive and scored on a 1-yard run with 23 seconds left before halftime. He also ran successfully for the two-point conversion.

Teurlings consumed much of the third period with a 65-yard drive that was interspersed with the running of Spring and Trahan. Cain however had two catches for 38 yards, including the 29-yard scoring reception.

Cain caught another TD throw of 27 yards that increased the lead to 34-8 with a minute left in the third period.

Malveaux and wide receiver Corey Fontenot connected for the last Tigers’ score. It was a quick final period drive of 76 yards. Malveaux placed a ball in the hands of Fontenot, who scored from 64 yards out.

Opelousas was at the Teurlings’ goal line when time expired.

Malveaux ran for 61 yards and passed for another 167. Running back De’Shaun Ford rushed 62 yards. Fontenot caught four passes for 127.

NEXT WEEK: Opelousas goes to Natchitoches next Friday night.