Friday night the Brusly Panthers faced one of the state’s best teams, the U-High Cubs, in a challenging game for the Panthers, as they were soundly defeated 46-14.
“We played a little better than the week before,” said Head Coach Erik Willis, “so we did make some improvements, but we still have a long way to go so we still have to keep working hard.”
Brusly received the ball first, but after making no progress, they were forced to punt. On the Cubs’ third down during their first drive, quarterback Manny Miles, son of LSU head football coach Les Miles, hurled an 85-yard touchdown pass to Brandt Broussard. With 5:10 remaining in the first quarter, the Cubs scored another touchdown on a 34-yard rushing touchdown by Nick Brossette, increasing the lead 14-0.
When Brusly received the ball back, Jaylon Green ran the ball to Brusly’s 25-yard line. A quick pitch from Connor Manola to Green gained a first down, but on the drive’s third down Manola fumbled in the backfield, which was recovered by Green. But with the Panthers on a fourth down with eight yards to go, they punted it back to the Cubs.
During the Cubs’ drive, after two penalties from Brusly and one from U-High, Brusly defensive back Deven Hammond intercepted a Miles pass and ran 69 yards into the end zone for the Panthers’ first touchdown with 1:10 left in the first quarter, erasing the Panthers’ deficit to one touchdown, 14-7.
With U-High back on offense, Miles connected again with Dotson, who had a 61-yard catch and run into the end zone, but the play was called back due to a penalty against the Cubs. After driving downfield, with 15 seconds left in the first quarter and the Cubs on third down and 16 yards to go, Jalon Baker caught a Miles pass for 25 yards and a touchdown.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Manola completed a pass to Kwanston Adkins for a first down at the Cubs’ 26 at the start of what looked like a promising drive. Darien Cobbs fought hard up the middle gaining six yards on the carry. But on the fourth down, Malik Antoine intercepted a pass near the 10-yard line. U-High’s Brossette went on to score on a 35-yard rushing touchdown halfway through the quarter.
Brusly’s Hammond muffed the kick return catch, allowing U-High to recover the ball at Brusly’s 24 which led to a quick 24-yard pass from Miles to Broussard for another touchdown for the Cubs, bringing the score to 33-7 in the Cubs’ favor.
U-High’s Brossette scored the last touchdown of the half with 1:40 remaining on a 15-yard run, widening the lead to 40-7 at halftime.
In the third quarter, after Miles carried into Brusly territory, Brossette was able to fight up the middle through Brusly’s reinvigorate defense for a touchdown at 5:40, as the Cubs went up 46-7.
Brusly was able to hold U-High the rest of the second half, not allowing U-High to score again.
During a drive in the start of the fourth quarter, Brusly steadily pushed down the field. Carlsel Alexander carried for 15 yards to the Cubs’ 35 and again to the 24. Green ran the last 5 yards into the end zone for a Brusly touchdown.
With just minutes left in the game, Green and Alexander were able to fight the ball to the Cubs’ 8 yard line. A fumble by Brusly was recovered by U-High at the six-yard line with 26 seconds left in the game. The cubs ran the rest of the clock out with the score 46-14.
“We have to stop teams when we have them against the wall on third and long,” said Willis. “We need to keep our offense on the field, that’s the way we’re going to win. We just have to stop the big plays and improve certain areas.”