Port Allen eliminated doubt of falling in an upset very early.
The Pelicans scored five touchdowns in the second quarter on the way to a 55-8 route over No.23 Pine in the first round of the Class 2A playoffs Friday night at Guy Otwell Stadium.
“It was just one of those complete efforts by the team,” said Port Allen coach Don Gibson. “You have to give credit to these kids and the coaches the way they just came out. The weather was about as hard as you can get but they didn’t allow that to mess with their thought process of what we needed to do and how we needed to get it done. I thought we had a good game plan in every phase of the game. I was super proud of the way they came out and executed the game plan.”
No. 10 Port Allen (6-2) drew first blood early on with Mekyle Franklin’s 31yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game.
Later, the Pelicans took advantage of a Pine fumble and turned it into six points when quarterback Jacoby Howard found Jeremiah Dehon wide open for a 24-yard score on the first play of the second quarter.
Port Allen added two touchdowns in a span of 24 seconds in the second quarter. Christian Gantt got free for a 66-yard run but was tackled at the one-yard line. A false start penalty pushed Port Allen back five yards, but Gantt scored on a 6-yard run one play later.
On Pine’s next drive, the slippery ball got away from a ball carrier and Port Allen recovered. On the very next play, Howard connected with Franklin on a 35-yard touchdown that put Port Allen up four scores and broke the game wide open.
“It was a great effort,” Franklin said. “Even with the adversity with the weather how it is. We just came out and fought and pushed through. It was a great effort from our team on all sides of the ball.”
Jordan Antoine powered through the defense for a 9-yard touchdown run later in the third. Just before halftime, Howard connected with Franklin again, this time on a 29-yard touchdown that gave Port Allen a 42-0 halftime lead.
Howard completed 5-of-7 passes for 110 yards and three touchdowns. He added 24 yards rushing.
“We know where we’re trying to get to,” Howard said. “We have one goal in mind and that’s a state championship.”
Taveyis Moore added a 20-yard blocked punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter and Stephen Springer broke several tackles before scoring on a 15-yard run in the fourth.
Port Allen rushed for 260 yards, led by Gantt with 103 yards on six attempts. Peyton Smith added 51 yards on four carries followed by Franklin with 50 yards on five attempts. Franklin hauled in four passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Next up for Port Allen is a trip to take on No. 7 Ferriday, who eliminated the Pelicans in the playoffs last season.
“It’s going to be hard tough game,” Gibson said. “They’re the defending champs but we talked about this last year when we lost that game. We wanted a chance to go up there and an opportunity to play Ferriday again so here we are. It’s crazy how things fall, but we’re looking forward to that opportunity.”