The process of changing a culture does not come easy, as Port Allen head coach Donald Gibson would say.
The first-year PAHS head coach saw proof of that once again when his Pelicans struggled against a high-speed, relentless Donaldsonville squad that ran past the hosting squad 44-13 in action at Guy Otwell Stadium on Friday, Sept. 15.
Port Allen slipped to 1-2 as they head into the District 7-2A battles Friday night when they host Dunham. Donaldsonville remained unbeaten after three games as they marked their best start to the season since 2010, when the Tigers and Pelicans competed in the same district.
“We have to stop making the penalties that put us in bad situations, but it’s also busted plays,” Gibson said. “In order to be a great football team, you need to change those things up. I’ve said we have to change the culture, and it’s going to take time to this, but we’re going to stay the course.”
The Tiger defense managed to put the brakes on the Pelican rushing game, which mustered on 87 yards for the night.
Donaldsonville took an 8-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Pelicans cut into the lead when Harold Jones connected with Donald Johnson on a 20-yard TD.
But the Tigers responded with 21 unanswered points to lead 29-7 at the half.
Port Allen reached the red zone in the second quarter when quarterback Harold Jones was sidelined after a hit that knocked his helmet off during a play. Freshman Jacoby Howard took over, but his pass landed in the hands of the Tigers, who stopped a Pelican scoring opportunity.
The Pelicans scored in the third quarter off a Jones sneak. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter.
Jones completed 11 of 20 passes for 201 yards, with one interception. He also carried eight times for 56 yards rushing. Jonte Smith had 25 yards on the ground the Pels.
“I can’t criticize our kids because they’re trying really hard against some really tough opponents, and it’s the job of our coaching staff to get them better every week,” he said. “Playing tough teams such as Plaquemine and Donaldsonville will make us a better team, but we need to start winning some of those tough games.”