Sacred Heart sneaks past Menard; picks up third win of year
VILLE PLATTE – The Sacred Heart Trojans and the Menard Eagles stained their jerseys brown Friday night in a muddy, sloppy battle, with the Trojans finding a way to sneak past the Eagles in a 9-6 non-district win.
Sacred Heart now improves to 3-1 on the season, while Menard falls to 2-2 on they year. Sacred Heart will next play Catholic of Pointe Coupee on the road Friday night in their first district game of the season.
“It’s hard to play in these conditions, but our guys kept grinding through that adversity and came out with a tough win,” said Sacred Heart head coach Josh Harper. “We need to improve offensively as well. We need to start putting points up to give our defense a break.”
“We had some opportunities we didn’t take advantage of,” said Menard head coach Chris Gatlin. “Our defense has been playing outstanding. We just have to find our identity on offense.”
Although it was a low-scoring game, it didn’t take long for Sacred Heart to get the ball rolling on offense. After deferring the ball to Menard, the Trojan defense forced a quick thee-and-out on the Eagles.
Sacred Heart’s offense got the ball back on their own 24 yard line after the Menard punt. On the very first play of the drive, quarterback Wesley Launey raced 76 yards for the score. Launey tacked on the extra point as well, giving the Trojans the early 7-0 lead with 10:05 left in the first quarter.
After the Sacred Heart touchdown, the two teams exchanged possessions, allowing the Trojan special teams to make their mark on the game. Following their third straight three-and-out, the Eagles were once again forced to punt the ball away from their five-yard line.
On the kick, Sacred Heart’s Nick Perry bolted in from the left side and got his hand on the ball, blocking the punt out of the back of the end zone. The safety gave the Trojans a 9-0 lead with five minutes left in the first quarter.
Both teams once again traded possessions with Sacred Heart eventually finding themselves facing a third and seven on their 27-yard line. On the next play, Launey attempted to hand the ball off to Perry, who ended up fumbling the ball away.
Menard’s Anthony Johnson recovered the fumble and took off toward the end zone, as the Eagles looked as if they were finally going to put points on the board. However, Johnson let the ball slip through his hands as he got near pay dirt.
The Trojans were able to recover the ball back, earning themselves a touchback and a new set of downs starting at their own 20-yard line.
Unfortunately, Sacred Heart couldn’t capitalize on their fresh start, as they started off the second quarter having to punt the ball back to Menard.
The Eagles opened their next drive up from their 45-yard line with a 36 yard pitch and catch from Charles Wagner to Johnson, that put the ball at the Sacred Heart 19-yard line. Despite knocking on the Trojan’s door, the Eagles couldn’t capitalize as the Sacred Heart defense held solid and forced a turnover on downs.
Neither team could get anything rolling in the rest of the second quarter, as the half dawned upon the two teams with Sacred Heart still up 9-0 when the two teams headed into the locker room.
As the third quarter started, the field was becoming increasingly muddy, making the ball hard to handle. That became prevalent soon enough, as late in the period, Sacred Heart coughed the ball up once again.
Menard’s Ronald Davis recovered the loose ball giving the Eagles great field position on the Trojan’s 24-yard line. Menard was finally able to capitalize scoring in just thee plays, with Colby Lovely punching it in from one yard out. However, the extra point was too wide, making the score 9-6 with only 3:10 left in the third quarter.
Both teams exchanged punts multiple times for the rest of the third quarter and deep into the fourth quarter. The Eagles made one final attempt to get the go ahead touchdown beginning their final drive of the night with only two minutes left in the game.
Menard took over at their 49-yard line after a Trojan punt. On second down, the Eagles committed a mortal sin as they were flagged for holding, dropping them back to the 34-yard line. An incomplete pass set up a third and long situation for Menard.
On the ensuing play, Sacred Heart’s Drew Bordelon picked off a desperation pass from the Eagles, closing out the game and crushing Menard’s hope of a comeback.