Port Allen head football coach Don Gibson can cross two goals off his list.
He had set to lead his team to a home-field berth in playoff action, and he hoped to win a home game in front of a local crowd.
The third-year Pelican head coach fulfilled both aspirations Nov. 15 when PAHS breezed past Rayville 29-6 in first-round Class 2A playoff action at Guy Otwell Stadium.
The victory closed the season for their northeast Louisiana foes, and knocked a huge chip off the shoulders of the Pelicans, in the process.
The first-round playoff win marked the first for Gibson in his three years with the program.
“This was a big step for this program, but we still have a long way to go,” Port Allen head coach Don Gibson said. “We’re far from a finished product, but this is the next step to where we’re going with the program.”
PAHS (5-6, 3-2) will visit No. 2 seed Ferriday for second-round action Nov. 22.
Quarterback Jacoby Howard completed four of seven passes for 123 yards to pace the Pelicans, including a 62-yard connection to Lekelvin Battiste. He also carried 10 times for 30 yards.
Mekyle Franklin led Port Allen with nine carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns, including a 45-yard scamper in the fourth quarter.
Senior running back Edward Wilson put the Pelicans in the lead in the first quarter on a 14-yard touchdown run five minutes into the game.
A Marcus Joseph 15-yard TD run on a second-and-14 in the second quarter put the Pels ahead 14-0 at halftime.
Freshman Braylon White’s fumble recovery at midfield stopped the Hornets in the second quarter, while junior safety Colby Credeur stopped RHS on an interception.
The battle against Rayville was the first postseason victory at home since the Pels bumped off Eleanor McMain 26-8 in opening round 3A action Nov. 14, 2014,4 under then-head coach Guy Blanchard.