W-M routs LaGrange, defense shuts down Gators

By Damian Juneau

Special to the American Press

The Washington-Marion Charging Indians jumped on the LaGrange Gators early and never looked back in taking a 34-6 District 4-4A victory Friday night.

W-M offense finished with 263 rushing yards and 25 yards passing. W-M’s running back tandem of Ray Thomas and Derrick Paul finished with 103 and 94 yards, respectively, and both scored two touchdowns.

“We were able to attack the perimeter as we saw some things that we could do,” said W-M head coach Jules Sullen. “I think both my running backs, Derrick Paul and Ray Thomas, did a phenomenal job running the ball tonight as that is contributed to our offensive line coach (William) Sistrunk, who has done a really good job with them.”

The Charging Indians wasted little time getting points on the board. The second play of the game saw Paul scored on a 28-yard run. The second score of the first quarter came on a 52-yard run by Thomas to extend the lead to 14-0 with 1:30 remaining in the first quarter.

W-M looked to extend the lead early in the second quarter with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Justin Thomas to Tyree Brown with 9:08 left. The next score was set up when W-M returned a LaGrange punt to the Gators’ 11-yard line. One play later Thomas scored with 6:48 to play.

The Charging Indians’ final score in the half came when Paul scored on a 2-yard run with 3:07 left. The Gators’ first successful drive into Charging Indians territory was stopped at the 30-yard line with 33 seconds to play in the half. The Charging Indians limited the Gators to less than 20 yards of total offense in the half.

“The defense in the last two weeks … we have been playing some young guys for some older guys that who have been injured,” Sullen said. “We were able to get one of them back tonight which helped. Hopefully we can continue with the momentum with this victory and go against Rayne next week as it a big game. If we win, we have a chance for the playoffs. And if we don’t, we will go home.”

LaGrange avoided the shutout late in the fourth quarter when Jason Wilson connected with Jaden Bias on a 52-yard touchdown pass.

The Gators finished with 89 passing yards and 52 rushing yards. Leading the way on the ground was Keshaun Doucet, who finished with 64 yards running on 17 carries.

“Hats off to LaGrange coach (Marrico) Wilson and staff,” Sullen said. “Their record doesn’t indicate how well they have done this season as they are a really good team as they just had some tough breaks.”

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