West Monroe loses to Catholic BR
This summer, Catholic football BR was fined and ordered to relinquish selected Division I titles won in 2017 and 2020 as well as runner-up trophies for 2018 and 2019. This season, although already ranked No. 20 in the country, the Bears have been to prove they are the real deal. One of their biggest contenders, and widely known as one of the best high school football games of the season, came against West Monroe.
And after not having a game last week, those goddamn rebels were even more motivated to spoil the fun on Friday night, and in the first half it looked like they might have given it a shot.
This game started two hours late due to sky-high delays, so the point of interest for both teams was the ground and the pound. At least the Bears found out that quickly because in the game’s first play, Javari Sanders intercepted a pass and brought it home to start the scoring, just seconds into the game.
The Bears reacted quickly, having made just three plays to cover 54 yards and tie the score at six.
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âI felt like in the first half we were wide-eyed and just running,â said Catholic head coach David Simoneaux. âWe tried to find the pulse of the football team early on, but we really couldn’t.
The game went that way, at a fast pace and with little room for error before half-time, with West Monroe leading 19-18.
The momentum shifted early in the third quarter in the hands of the Bears.
âWe didn’t really change what we were doing in the second half; it was just about trying to put the paddles of life on these guys and make them play harder, âsaid Simoneaux.
The two main threats in the running game for the Bears were Taelon Nicholas and Corey Singleton, while it was the Rayshawn Pleasant show for the Rebels.
Nicholas, a powerful full-back, slipped through defenders and gained plenty of yards after contact.
Pleasant and Singleton, both speed back, would use their speed to evade tackles but weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and run through their guts if necessary.
Being a one-man band isn’t easy, and while Pleasant has rushed for 89 yards on 17 carries for a score, good teams like Catholic can make even the smallest adjustment that can change a game.
The second half saw the success diminish for West Monroe as the offense failed to score in the second half.
A big reason for this was the special teams.
Catholic could count on his kicker to convert on 3 of 4 goals and an extra point, while West Monroe did not attempt a single field goal but made only one extra point attempt.
Not to mention that Kylan Dupree for the Bears kicked four times for an average of 45.5 yards per punt. Dupree’s booming kicks put the Rebels at a significant disadvantage when it comes to field position.
âPosition on the pitch played a big role, it looked like we started around the 50 for most of the night on defense, and our attack started around the 20,â said West Monroe defensive coordinator, Tony Osborne. “I was happy to see our offense keep the game tight for us.”
The Bears proved why they are known as one of the best teams in the country by pushing the tempo in the second half en route to a 30-19 victory over a formidable Rebels side who did not want to give up.
“When you play a great team like this you know you realize that we were very close sometimes; it is just going to help us become a better football team in the future. There is no doubt about that,” said West Monroe head coach Jerry Arledge.