MORGAN CITY — Central Catholic kept things close in the first half, but the question was would they have enough to keep up with Vandebilt Catholic in the second half of Thursday’s nondistrict football game.
Vandebilt answered those questions thanks to the play of junior quarterback Andrew Robison, senior running back Brennan Rogers and its defense in a 45-16 road win over Central Catholic.
Robison (22-of-30 passing for 239 yards, three touchdown passes; six rushes for 49 yards and a rushing touchdown) and Rogers (15 carries, 142 yards, two touchdowns) guided Vandebilt’s offense (421 total yards).
Vandebilt led 14-8 after the first quarter and 28-16 at halftime before pulling away with a 42-16 advantage after the third quarter.
The Terriers’ defense allowed no touchdowns in the second half and got a pair of interceptions from senior defensive backs Alex Schexnayder and Richard St. Martin to seal the win.
Vandebilt coach Jeremy Atwell said he is proud of the Terriers for improving their overall record to 6-1, but he believes they didn’t play up to the standards they’ve set as a program during Thursday’s game.
“We’re late in the season now. We’re past the halfway point, so any win that you get is a good win,” Atwell said. “You can’t take that away from us, but I promise you we’ve got to get back in the building and get back to the film and get back to what we do and clean a lot of things up if we expect to go on and get more victories the rest of the way.”
Robison, who started the game with four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) in the first half, echoed Atwell’s sentiments on the need to get better. Robison threw two interceptions and took several big hits from Central Catholic’s defense but managed to get up.
“A win is a win like Coach Atwell tells us. Whenever you are able to come on the road and get a win like this is a good thing,” Robison said. “It wasn’t very pretty and it’s not the way we would’ve like to do it, but we won. We have a lot of mistakes. We have to fix that. Bottom line is that we’ve got to play better. You can’t ever get complacent. I feel like we’re going to make adjustments and come out stronger next week.”
In the first quarter, Robison threw touchdown passes of 55 yards to a wide-open senior reciever Ethan Henry (two catches, 93 yards) and 2 yards to senior receiver John Theriot (three catches, 44 yards).
Central Catholic (3-4 overall) scored on a 44-yard fake punt pass from Tyler O’Con to Brooks Thomas and added the two-point conversion on a pass from Taylor Blanchard to Nathan Hebb. Vandebilt still held a 14-8 lead after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Robison had a 1-yard touchdown run on a quarterback sneak and added a 3-yard touchdown pass to freshman Hunter Porche (five catches, 44 yards) to take a 28-16 advantage at halftime.
Central Catholic’s second quarter score came on a 1-yard touchdown run from Davidyione Bias, who added the two-point conversion run.
In the third quarter, Vandebilt seized control thanks to the running of Rogers, who scored touchdowns on runs of 12 and 54 yards, respectively, to put the Terriers ahead 42-16.
Vandebilt’s Reid Bourg made a 30-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 45-16. The Terriers substituted many backup players late in the game.
Central Catholic coach Tommy Minton said Vandebilt, a Class 4A school, just had too many more bodies than Central Catholic, a Class 1A school.
“Their depth kind of took over. We wore down,” Minton said. “We have many guys going both ways. The tempo of their offense wore us down. They are a very good offensive football team. The quarterback (Robison) does a good job. The running back (Rogers) is a good runner. They made most of the possessions in the first half count. We had moved the ball in spurts but we couldn’t sustain things and that kind of hurt us.”
Central Catholic finished with 255 total yards (150 passing, 105 rushing). Senior running back Chris Singleton had 17 carries for 91 yards.
Atwell said the Terriers defense performed well, especially since it played without several injured starters in linebacker Chandler Rhodes and defensive back CJ Detillier.
“We had a lot of guys out and that’s not an excuse. We won’t make excuses. You’ve got to step and play,” Atwell said. “Hopefully we’ll get some guys back and that makes a big difference, but some guys who got to play (Friday night) showed they can play. Even though they are young, they could hold their own. That gives you a little bit of confidence going forward as the season gets a little longer that you got some backups and some guys who can play in different phases of the game.”