DONALDSONVILLE — The Brusly Panthers are moving on.
Brusly’s offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, while the backs ran wild to lead the Panthers to a 35-22 win over No. 9 Donaldsonville Friday night at Floyd Boutte Memorial Stadium in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.
“We knew it was going to be a physical football game,” said Bruslyhead coach Hoff Schooler. “Donaldsonville, we saw them on film and they’re a physical football team, they’re a tough football team and they’re hard-headed about wanting to run the football. We knew they’d get some runs here and there. They’re too good of a football team not to. The offensive coaches had a great plan all week long. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot a little bit in the second half, but all in all, it was a good job on both sides of the ball.”
Brusly (6-5) forced a turnover on downs on Donaldsonville’s first possession of the game. The Panthers responded with a drive capped by Nick Penell’s 7-yard touchdown run. Donaldsonville only needed one play to score on its drive following a Brusly fumble. The Tigers connected on a 30-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 7-6.
Josh Westly’s 30-yard run extended the Brusly lead to 14-6 with 7:37 left in the first half. Later in the second quarter, Penell burst up the middle for a 44-yard touchdown that gave Brusly a 21-6 lead.
The Panthers recovered an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff and cashed in with 32.8 seconds left in the half thanks to Penell’s 15-yard run.
Donaldsonville responded with a quick touchdown to end the half and cut the deficit to 28-14.
Penell scored his fourth touchdown of the game with 1:41 left in the third quarter that gave the Panthers a 35-14 advantage.
The Tigers tacked on another score, but the Brusly defense thwarted any chance of a comeback in the final minutes.
Penell and Westly rushed for over 100 yards each in the first half. Penell ended with 165 yards on 28 attempts with four scores, while Westly carried the ball 18 times for 160 yards.
“Coach told us to come out and play how we’ve been playing, ground and pound,” Penell said. “That’s what we’re built from. We’re usually a second half team. We kind of got stalemated, but we found a way to win.”
With the win, Brusly will host No. 8 Marksville, who defeated No. 25 Erath 28-21.
“You want to play as long as you can play and at the same time, guys are getting experience in these kinds of games,” Schooler said. “We’ve been in big games all year long against good football teams, so it was nothing different tonight. The same approach, everything was the same as its been throughout the season and now we’ll come back home next week. It ain’t but 16 teams left in this thing. It’s going to be a good football game next week and we’ll be excited and ready to go.”