Photo by Christopher Murphy/The West Side Journal
The Port Allen Pelicans demonstrated last week that they could give a Class 3A semifinalist a run for the money.
At the same time, that semifinalist showed it hasn’t lost much of its step from the previous season. West Feliciana High School seized the opportunity off Port Allen turnovers to score 20 unanswered second-half points for a 44-30 win over the Pelicans in a crucial District 6-3A battle.
Port Allen slipped to 3-4 and put itself further behind in a chance to claim third place in the district race.
“We were not able to get them off the field, we did not force one point and we couldn’t get the field position or get extra position by getting them off the field on third downs,” Port Allen coach Nick Mitchell said. “That cost us dearly.”
The Pelicans led 30-24 at halftime, but the WFHS offense engineered long drives that sapped the energy from the PAHS defenders – one drive that stretched 13 plays and one for 20 yards.
“We kept our defense on the field and we believed in them, but unfortunately they weren’t able to stop West Feliciana,” Mitchell said.
Three turnovers on three straight possessions – two off interceptions, one off a fumble – turned the tables on Port Allen, which led 30-24 at the half.
The Saints scored six plays after the fumble recovery and gained the ball on short field after the two interceptions.
Ken Broussard, who led the Pelican rushing attack with 75 yards, swung through the gates on the first series for a 70-yard touchdown.
West Feliciana tied the score, but the Pelicans regained the lead off a five-play drive that ended in a Jarrius Robertson 30-yard touchdown pass to Shawn Garner.
B.J. McClay mounted the third Pelican touchdown off a 78-yard sprint in the second quarter.
The Pels tacked on one more touchdown, this one in the 4th quarter on a 1-yard sneak by Norrise Cummings.
The loss came despite 423 yards total offense.
Robertson passed for 219 yards with two interceptions. He also tallied 73 yards rushing off nine carries.
McClay was the leading receiver with six catches for 122 yards.
Mitchell emphasized to his players the need for complete focus the next three games.
“I told them they must understand that the regular season guarantees only three games – that’s the only guarantee,” he said. “What you do after that is highly dependent on your performance.
“We have to be able to control things, and the destiny is the one thing for which we can control on our own,” Mitchell said. “We have to do our best to maintain that control.”