Defense wins the night in NV vs Erath

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In what turned out to be a defensive struggle the North Vermilion Patriots defeated parish and district rivals Erath Bobcats.

“It was just a typical North Vemilion Erath game,” North Vemilion Head Coach Tommy Byler said. “They (Erath) came out and and played really well on defense.”

The final score to this defensive slug fest was 10-6 in favor of the Patriots.

“Erath is a good football team,” Byler said. “That’s probably the best 3-7 team in the state. They have a lot of athletes and are well coached.”

On the third offensive play for Erath, four minutes into the game, starting running back Elijah Mitchell took the hand off from starting quarterback Ty Bares and scampered into the end zone for a 20 yard touchdown run, to take the early 6-0 lead.

From that point on the defense for the Patriots was stifling not allowing another point for the rest of the game.

“Our defense just flew to the football,” Byler said. “After that first drive we played really good defense. I was pretty proud of our kids on defense.”

To add further proof that it was a defensive battle all night, North Vermilion was only able to gain 174 total yards and Erath only managed 166.

Leading the charge for the Patriots was Taylor Abshire and Trey Broussard who each had 24 yards rushing. 

Helping out in the ground game, Mike Bessard and Ryan Thompson each added 25 and 19 respectively.

Broussard was able to score on a five yard rushing touchdown midway through the third quarter to give North Vermilion the eventual winning score of 10-6.

For Erath this game was a hard one to lose for several reasons.

Not only was it a parish and district rival, but there was still a good chance according to the estimated power rankings, that with a win Erath still could have made the playoffs. 

After this loss though those hopes are all but dashed.

“It was a gut wrenching game,” Erath Head Coach Doug Dotson said. “We missed wide open passes and just couldn’t execute. I know its cliche to say that they left it all on the field but thats exactly what this team did and I am really proud of them for that.”

One of the lone bright spots for Erath was that Elijah Mitchel who entered the game only 54 yards away from rushing for 1,000 on the season, ended with 84 yards on 20 carries. Which gives him 1,030 rushing yards on the season.

“It’s impressive to see what he did as a freshmen. I have high hopes for him continuing forward,” Dotson said. 

Bares finished the night four of 16 passing for 27 yards. He also added 49 yards rushing on 16 carries.

“I am so proud of this team,” Dotson said. “They had several chances this season to just cash it in and they didn’t. They showed up to practice every single week and gave 100% and I am really proud of that.  It gives me a lot of hope for this team next season.”

North Vermilion now has to just sit and wait until it is announced late Sunday who they will be playing in the state championship playoffs.

There is still an outside chance, according to the estimated power rankings that NV could receive a home game.


Andy Bullard

Sports Editor


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