The final score may have not indicated it, but Port Allen coach Don Gibson found plenty of reason for enthusiasm after the Pelicans faced Livonia in jamboree action Aug. 24.
Livonia posted a 21-6 win over the visiting Pelicans, but the score does not tell the real story of the game, Gibson said.
“We moved the football and we did some good things,” he said. “We have to shore up some things defensively with a couple of young guys, but I was really pleased with the movement of the ball.”
Edward Wilson broke loose for a 40-yard touchdown run in the second half after PAHS spotted Livonia a 21-0 lead.
Jacobi Bellazin accounted for two of the Wildcat touchdowns, including an 85-yard kickoff return at the start of the second half.
He also tacked on a 20-yard TD run in the first half, while D.J. Leonard scored on a 10-yard carry for Livonia, which entered the jamboree on the heels of a 3-7 season.
The effort by the Pelicans in the light of a gaping deficit gave Gibson a sense of encouragement about the mindset of his players and the direction of the program this season.
“We had some drive-killers early in the game, but I was so proud how these young kids fought,” he said. “They said they were going to fight, and that made me proud of these kids tonight.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the effort and the attitude — and it came from a young, young group of guys,” Gibson said. “I keep saying that, and I’m not sure people really know how important it is, but Port Allen is coming back.”
The numbers game got the best of the Pelicans, particularly against a larger Livonia squad, which did not use players on both sides of the ball.
“It’s one of the things you deal with when you face a school like that, but our guys played their hearts out and didn’t give up,” Gibson said.
Port Allen opens its season at home on Friday against longtime arch rival Brusly in the Sugarcane Classic, while Livonia begins its 2018 slate at home against Avoyelles.