Setting the tone
VILLE PLATTE – The Sacred Heart Trojans made it look easy against the North Central in their dominating 38-8 homecoming victory over the Hurricanes.
The Trojans end the regular season at 5-5 overall and 2-3 in district play. Sacred Heart will find out who and where they play in the playoffs when the LHSAA brackets are released sometime today.
“We set the tone early, which is exactly what we needed to do,” remarked Sacred Heart head coach Josh Harper. “We came out and took care of business, and we can only hope to translate that into the playoffs. Obviously it’s great when (Alex) McElwee or one of our other play makers step up and we’re definitely going to try to lean on them in the playoffs.”
Sacred Heart opened up their homecoming game by deferring to the second half. The Trojans forced a three and out and received the ball at the North Central 22-yard line.
Alex McElwee took the handoff and powered through to gift Sacred Heart with their first touchdown. McElwee also tacked on a two point conversion, putting the Trojans up 8-0 with 10:46 to go in the first quarter.
On the first play of the Hurricane’s ensuing drive, Trojan defender Lucas Vallet dove on a fumble, placing Sacred Heart at the opposing 29-yard line. After a 23-yard run from McElwee, the Trojans eventually found themselves at the Hurricane one-yard line.
McElwee was called on once again, adding another touchdown and two-point conversion to the Trojan’s growing lead, making it 16-0 with 8:25 in the first quarter.
The two teams traded possessions, and once again the Trojans had the ball. Starting at their 30-yard line, the Trojans eventually fought to the 46-yard line where Ethan Karonika threw a laser to McElwee, for the touchdown. McElwee yet again tacked on an extra two points, improving the Sacred Heart lead to 24-0 with 4:25 left in the first quarter. With that score, the quarter ended, and each team geared up for the second quarter, with Sacred Heart still holding a commanding lead.
North Central started off the quarter with a drive from their 43-yard line, but a 35-yard interception by Karonika placed the ball at the Hurricane 30-yard line. After six plays, the Trojans sat at the Hurricane three-yard line.
Evan Veillon knocked down the yardage, finding pay dirt and giving Sacred Heart another touchdown. McElwee was good yet again for two, and the Trojan lead grew to 32-0 with 10:00 on the clock.
At this point, the referees decided to let the clock run and the Trojans placed in some of their back ups for some much needed play time. The half ended without another score, sending both team into the locker rooms without much momentum.
Sacred initiated play in the second half but it would be North Central who would strike first blood with a five-yard touchdown run from Christopher Rideau.
Jalen Wilson converted for two, putting the Hurricanes on the board, but still down 32-8 with 3:56 in the third quarter. That would be the only score in the third, and both teams prepared themselves for the final quarter.
After stopping North Central at midfield, the Trojans gained possession, eventually getting pushed back to their 44-yard line. Vallet got the handoff and weaved past multiple defenders for the final touchdown of the game. McElwee’s two point attempt was no good, but the Trojans still improved to 38-8 with 9:40 in the fourth quarter.
McElwee had a big night, finishing with three touchdowns, two rushing and one passing. McElwee also went four for five on two point conversions and finished the night with 123 rushing yards on 13 carries.