One Kaplan defensive stop set the tone for the rest of the game
Kaplan defensive lineman Jerrick Romero (60) stops the Jennings quarterback from scoring from the 1 yard line.
JENNINGS - Very seldom does one play only seven minutes into the game set the tone for the rest of the game.
But on Friday, one play did exactly that for the Kaplan Pirates, who beat Jennings, 29-12.
On Jennings’ first possession, they marched down to the Kaplan 1-yard-line. Facing a fourth down and goal from the 1, the Bulldogs elected to go for it.
The Jennings quarterback tried to pound his way through the Kaplan defensive line but did not go forward. Instead, he lost a yard.
Stopping him was defensive lineman Jerrick Romero.
“The fourth down play changed the tempo of the game,” said Romero. “If they would have scored, the tempo would have shifted to them. We stopped them.”
Romero said everyone fired off on the snap and then he saw the quarterback trying to run in his gap. “I met him at the line,” he said. “My heart was pumping.”
“We had to keep focused and stop them,’ said Kaplan defensive end Daniel Lotief. “It got us pumped up. Two plays later, a 92-yard touchdown run.”
Kaplan’s offense got the ball on its two-yard line and Julius Johnson carried it five yards to get the Pirates out of a hole. On second down and five from the 8, Mac Thibeaux showed he has speed to burn. He went up the middle and outran the Bulldogs’ defense for a 92-yard touchdown run. Johnson converted the two point play to put Kaplan ahead 8-0.
On Jennings’ next possession, it coughed up the football. Kaplan’s Dane Wisendanger fell on the football at the Bulldogs’ 33-yard-line.
The Kaplan ground game went to work and drove the ball down the short field for a touchdown.
Thibeaux scooted from the 4 for a touchdown and all of sudden the Pirates led 16-0 with 10 minutes to play in the first half.
On Jennings’ third possession of the first half it scored on an 81-yard TD run by Travis Etienne. He finished the game with 170 yards on 15 carries.
The Pirates answered the Bulldogs score with one of its own. On first down and 69 yards away from the end zone, once again, Thibeaux showed his speed and sprinted 69 yards for a touchdown to make it 22-6 right before halftime.
He had a career night in the first half. On six carries, he had 181 yards and three touchdowns. He finished the game with 249 yards and three scores.
No. 3 Kaplan will play No. 7 Amite at home on Friday. The winner of that game goes to the New Orleans Superdome the following week.