Hard work and dedication this spring football season has paid off for the Port Allen High football team, as they dominated in their spring scrimmage against St. John Friday, May 23.
“Tonight is the culmination of all the hard work that was put in these past three weeks,” Coach Blanchard said after the scrimmage.
On the very first drive of the scrimmage, the Pels’ defense showed they would be a force during regular season play, as they put heavy pressure on St. John junior quarterback Rene Ledet. The Eagles’ offense was shut down with a sack by Port Allen junior Chris Doyle and an interception by junior Malik Green.
The Pels’ defense continued with quickness and explosiveness throughout the scrimmage, forcing eight turnovers and holding the Eagles offense to only 72 total yards on 40 plays.
Blanchard said that the “intensity and leadership” of this team is the best it has ever been.
Junior defensive end Marcus Keyes notched a total of nine tackles, four of which were for a loss. Keyes also forced a fumble and had a fumble recovery.
The defense put numbers on the board themselves with four pick sixes – one each from Lorenzo Osborne (junior safety), Patrick Banks (junior LB), James Jones (sophomore), and Kevin Ransom (sophomore).
The Pelicans’ offense that Coach Blanchard promised proved to not disappoint as junior QB Alex Hebert led his team with 142 passing yards and a touchdown.
Junior Telson Allen made a clutch touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone under heavy coverage from St. John sophomore DB Gavin Primeaux.
Junior RB DeMarcus Franklin showed that he has the tools to put up another 1000-yard rushing season with his eight carries, rushing for 92 yards and a touchdown, in addition to a catch for 25 yards. On one strong run in particular when Franklin plowed through the Eagles defense, Marcus Keyes could be heard yelling, “You can’t stop him!”
Sophomores James Jones and Kevin Ransom, who were both key defensive players as well, showed beyond a doubt that they are no longer, as Blanchard put it, “puppies,” as they were both just shy of having 100 yard nights offensively. Jones, who Blanchard said can play almost anywhere on the field, rushed for 140 yards on three carries and scored a touchdown, while Ransom carried four times for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
As the team gathered after the game, a gratified Coach Blanchard told them, “I am so proud of this group. You have character, pride, and dedication; you’ve got to continue that.”
As pleased as Blanchard was with his team’s performance against a St. John team that he predicts will make the playoffs next season, he told them all, “We’ve got to get bigger, faster, and stronger over the summer.” Blanchard added, “This is a process, and we’ve got to continue to get better.”
After a week of rest, the Pelican coaches and players will be back at it next week as summer conditioning begins.
“We dominated tonight,” Blanchard told his team, showing that they mean to live by their 2014 motto’s words: Time to Grind.