WRECKIN RAMS RUN PAST RAIDERS
SCOTT -- Acadiana High's Wreckin' Rams knew that a consistent rushing attack would be paramount if they were going to knock off the reigning Class 5A state champions and snap 5A's longest winning streak.
They also knew they would need a big effort from running back Elijah Ledet, considering that leading rusher Edward Cormier was sidelined with an injury.
Ledet didn't disappoint here Friday night, with a stunning 278yard rushing effort in leading the Rams to a 42-28 win over Rummel's Raiders. But even he was surprised that he saw the football that much (28 carries), and that there was so much running room between the hash marks against one of the state's best defenses.
"We were getting past the defensive line, and it was just wide open," said Ledet, who had touchdown runs of 74, 35 and 43 yards all right up the heart of the Raider defense. "I really didn't think it would be that open ... it hadn't been like that in practice."
Ledet's 74-yard burst came after the visiting Raiders had taken an early 7-0 lead, and his final 43-yard carry provided the clinching score with 2:06 left. In between, though, Rummel and first-time starting quarterback Chase Fourcade more than kept things interesting.
In fact, the Raiders were 11 yards from a tie game in the final minute of the third quarter, and a blocked punt and a quick score in the final three minutes put Rummel close enough to set up a late onside kick. But that kick failed to go 10 yards, and on second down after that kick Ledet broke loose up the middle again for the game-clincher.
"When you're facing this offense for the first time, it's like a deer in the headlights," Rummel coach Jay Roth said of Acadiana's veer attack. "The speed that they come off the ball and hit the hole, you can't simulate that in practice. It's really tough to stop."
The Rummel defense, one that had given up only five points through two games in continuing a win streak that reached 16 games going into Friday, was shredded for 452 rush yards by that attack. Ledet was the biggest culprit, going for 175 yards in the first half to help the Rams take a 28-14 lead.
"The little guy's amazing," said Ram head coach Ted Davidson of Ledet. "He's been making big plays for us ... he made some last week against Neville (a 35-28 Ram loss in Shreveport) and some against Northside. Tonight, they were playing their safeties in halves, and we were able to get behind them."
The Ram defense also made its share of big plays, the biggest coming in the final minute of the third quarter – not long after the Rams appeared on the verge of taking a three-score lead midway through the period. AHS drove to the Rummel 24 before Ledet's fumble was recovered by Rummel's Dwayne Eugene, and the Raiders marched 73 yards before Fourcade hit standout running back Keith Fulton with an eight-yard scoring pass to make it 28-21.
One play later, Ledet lost the handle again and Rummel recovered at the Ram 20, and eventually faced a fourth-and-one at the Acadiana 11. On that play, though, Fulton was hit and stopped for no gain, and the Rams came back with an 89-yad drive that consumed 7:45 off the clock.
Malik Eugene scored from five yards out on a fourth-and-one to make it 35-21.
"They made a lot of big plays, both ways," Roth said. "Our defense just wasn't good enough tonight, and our offense left some points on the field. When we got stopped on fourth down and they came right back and scored ... that made it tough."
The Raiders never went away, though, thanks mostly to Fourcade's 173-yard passing debut on 14-of-23 attempts, which included a nine-yard scoring toss to Damian Jeanpiere in the game's first seven minutes, a second-quarter 20-yard score to David Hensley and the eight-yarder to Fulton. He also had a nine-yard scoring strike to Steven Dunbar with 2:52 left, one play after Delshone Moses blocked a punt and Derrick Munson returned it to the Acadiana 9.
"We knew they were going to fight to the end," Davidson said of a Rummel team that his squad has met three times in state playoff competition in the last seven years. "You don't win 16 in a row in a district as tough as they play in without being a really good football team."
"It didn't seem like he was fazed too much," Roth said. "I was pretty pleased ... for parts of the game, our offense was good enough. But we had a TD pass dropped and we got stopped on that fourth-and-one.
"We can't pout, though. We've still got murderer's row on the horizon (upcoming games against Catholic-Baton Rouge and Dutchtown before the start of district play)."
Acadiana rallied from a 14-7 deficit on Ledet's 35-yard scoring run and an impressive 47-yard touchdown burst around the left side by Donovan Soloman midway through the second quarter. Then, after forcing a three-and-out, the Rams drove 70 yards in the final 3:38 of the half, and quarterback De'Edward Cormier found tight end Keithan Mouton with a nine-yard jump-ball touchdown in the end zone to make it 28-14 at half.
"To get one in before the half was big," Davidson said. "We thought we may be able to break some plays, and I think that sparked our defense in the first half."
Acadiana 42, Rummel 28
Rummel ....... 14 0 7 7 -- 28
Acadiana...... 13 15 0 14 -- 42
RUM -- Damian Jeanpiere 9 pass from Chase Fourcade (Justin Mourain kick)
ACAD -- Elijah Ledet 74 run (Brodie Fontenot kick)
RUM -- David Hensley 20 pass from Fourcade (Mourain kick)
ACAD -- Ledet 35 run (kick failed)
ACAD -- Donovan Soloman 47 run (De'Edward Cormier run)
ACAD -- Keithan Mouton 9 pass from Cormier (Fontenot kick)
RUM -- Keith Fulton 8 pass from Fourcade (Mourain kick)
ACAD -- Malik Eugene 5 run (Fontenot kick)
RUM -- Steven Dunbar 9 pass from Fourcade (Mourain kick)
ACAD -- Ledet 43 run (Fontenot kick)
First Downs 16 22
Total Net Yards 284 507
Rushing 28-111 53-452
Passing 173 53
Comp-Att-Int 14-23-2 5-7-0
Punts 3-38.3 2-17.5
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 6-2
Penalties-Yards 7-50 2-15
RUSHING – Rummel, Keith Fulton 14-61 1 TD, Ivan Phipps 12-70, Chase Fourcade 2-minus 20. Acadiana, Elijah Ledet 28-278 3 TD, Donovan Soloman 9-145 1 TD, Malik Eugene 9-34 1 TD, De'Edward Cormier 5-minus 3, team 2-minus 2.
PASSING – Rummel, Fourcade 14-23-2, 173 yds., 4 TD. Acadiana, Cormier 5-7-0, 53 yds., 1 TD.
RECEIVING – Rummel, Steven Dunbar 7-66 1 TD, Fulton 5-78 1 TD, David Hensley 1-20 1 TD, Damion Jeanpiere 1-9 1 TD. Acadiana, Bryson Abshire 3-34, Keithan Mouton 2-19 1 TD.
Records: Rummel 2-1, Acadiana 2-1. Next: Rummel hosts Catholic-B.R. Saturday, Acadiana at Lafayette High Friday.