The prep football season finally began Friday night with a host of games in the Lake Area.
The American Press had reporters and photographers out an many of the top match-ups.
Below is a quick-hit look at all the games involving Southwest Louisiana teams. Pick up a copy of Saturday's American Press for complete stories and photos. Check our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/americanpress for photos.
LaGrange kept in interesting this time, but Barbe still rules the rivalry, picking up its twelfth straight win in the series with a 29-14 win at John J. Mims Memorial Stadium.
The Gators (0-1) controlled most of the first half, but went into halftime tied at 8-8 after having three drives stall inside the Barbe 30-yard line.
Barbe (1-0) took advantage of an early opportunity in the third quarter to take the lead for good, turning a LaGrange fumble into a short scoring drive capped by an 8-yard touchdown run by Courtney Galentine to make the score 15-8.
The Bucs stretched the lead to 29-8 on a 45-yard scoring run by Trey Quinn and a 23-yard touchdown pass from Kennon Fontenot to Gunner Leger.
Two Sulphur Tors hugged on the way to the postgame celebration.
“Where are the doubters now?” one shouted.
Perhaps the naysayers were still stuck in preseason mode.
Friday the Tors bounced back from a disappointing jamboree loss with a comeback upset of St. Thomas More, the eighth-ranked team in Class 4A.
“This was fantastic,” said Sulphur coach Harold Fuselier, whose team trailed 14-0 and 21-7 early while looking near-helpless to slow down STM star quarterback Brandon Bergeron.
“That’s what a team effort will do you for you,” Fuselier said. “They just continued to play real hard.”
In the process a star was born on offense while the Tors’ defense forced four turnovers to key the victory.
So much for tip-toeing into the season.
DeRidder opened with a rival, the Leesville Wampus Cats, and ran away with an easy win.
Although starting the season facing a rival is not unheard of, it did give the Dragons a good measuring stick on how they will fare this season.
And for starters, the DeRidder measured up nicely.
When asked about opening against Leesville, head coach Eric Parmley mentioned “focus” would be the key.
Melvin Jones may be a wanted man for his defense, but he put his offense on display Friday night.
Jones, an All-American linebacker at Washington-Marion, used his feet to run the Charging Indians to an season-opening victory over visiting Peabody.
Playing quarterback part time and strictly out of the wildcat formation, Jones scored touchdowns on back-to-back runs
of 80 and 43 yards in the second quarter. He added a 2-yard scoring run in the fourth after his 63-yard scamper set up the TD.
The W-M defense did the rest, holding Peabody in check for a 34-12 win.
T.J. Davis’ 31-yard interception return for a touchdown put the cap on a 35-12 season-opening win over Cecilia.
Jennings rolled up 454 yards of total offense and held Cecilia to 132 total yards.
Jarquis brown ran for two Jennings touchdowns and Jaylon Boutte threw another two touchdowns for the Bulldogs, who led 14-6 at the half.
Austin Theriot ran and passed for touchdowns as Iowa rallied from an early deficit to edge Abbeville.
Patrick Landry scored twice on long runs in the first quarter to give Abbeville a quick 14-0 lead. He had 218 yards on 29 carries.
Theriot connected with Daquain Mathews on a 51-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 2-yard score in the second quarter as Iowa tied it at 14-all.
Chaz Key returned the second-half kickoff 80 yards for the Yellow Jackets.
South Beauregard piled up 352 yards in total offense in dumping DeQuincy.
The Golden Knights’ defense also contributed, forcing give DeQuincy turnovers.
East Beauregard won the yardage battle, but it was South Cameron winning on the scoreboard.
The Trojans outgained the Tarpons by more than 100 yards, but hurt themselves with 11 penalties for 85 yards.
Quarterback Andrew Bonsall scored on a pair of 2-yard runs for the Tarpons, who also added a 2-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Jason Theriot to Corey Miller.
South Cameron matched its win total each for the last two seasons.
Vinton scored three touchdowns in the first seven minutes and never looked back.
The Lions’ defense forced 10 fumbles, recovering four, and picked off two Iota passes.
James McMillon got the season off to a rousing start, taking the opening kickoff back 70 yards for a touchdown
Lake Arthur head coach Chad Lavergne preached defense to his Tigers in the practices heading into their season opener against Hamilton Christian.
They got defense, and a whole lot more, totaling 440 yards of offense while holding the Warriors to 114 yards in a rout at Cougar Stadium.
Rosepine had a chance to go in for a late score and with a two-point conversion tie the game, but was stopped on fourth down at the two in the closing moments.
Noah Martin scored on touchdown runs of 6 and 24 yards, but it wasn’t enough for the Eagles. Martin did finish with 19 carries for 114 yards to go along with the scores.
The Welsh Greyhounds took advantage of three costly Merryville Panthers fumbles in the fourth quarter.
The Greyhounds’ second drive of the first quarter was the one that put them on the scoreboard. A Tray Goodwin 32-yard run put the Greyhounds on the Panthers’ 7-yard line. Three plays later, Lane Giggar scored on a 1-yard run to give the Greyhounds a 7-0 lead with 2:43 to play in the first quarter.
Giggar scored his second touchdown with 3:36 to play in the second quarter, when he converted on a 5-yard run to take a 13-0 lead.
Just like last year, Basile started the season with a solid win over Mamou.
Sophomore running back Kendrick Ceaser ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns to lead Basile’s 241-yard rushing attack.
The Bearcats defense held Mamou to 76 yards rushing, 70 passing and forced the Green Demons into three turnovers.
Wesley Fontenot’s second long touchdown run gave Sacred Heart-Ville Platte the win.
Fontenot scored from 35 yards out with 19 seconds left to life Sacred Heart.
Fontenot scored on a 48-yard run earlier in the game.