Bastrop 49, West Ouachita 18
CADEVILLE — Scoring on its first four possessions, Bastrop snapped a four-game losing streak at the expense of West Ouachita, 49-18, Friday night at Red Sims Stadium.
With the victory, the Rams (3-7, 1-3) avoided the District 2-4A cellar and, more importantly, probably clinched a playoff spot. Bastrop, which entered the regular season finale at No. 31 in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association's unofficial power ratings, will learn of its playoff fate when the brackets are announced early Sunday afternoon.
Playing their first turnover free game of the entire season, the Rams amassed 505 yards of total offense (383 passing, 121 rushing) on 47 snaps, including 10 plays of 20 yards or more.
Senior wide receiver Jamari Payne, who joined defensive tackle Johnnie Marsaw in verbally committing to McNeese State earlier this week, accounted for four big plays. Turning in his seventh consecutive 100-yard game, Payne snared four receptions for 143 yards and a 58-yard touchdown.
However, Isaiah Graham was Christian Doaty's primary target on this night, catching eight balls for 131 yards and one touchdown, with another called back. Graham cracked the 100-yard plateau for the fourth time this season.
Doaty, who was 7-of-7 for 169 yards in the second half, finished the evening 17-of-23 for 383 yards.
Bastrop's efficient ground game produced 121 yards and five touchdowns on 22 carries. Antwone Green led the balanced group with seven carries for 54 yards and a pair of scores.
Defensively, the Rams bent, but didn't break. West Ouachita moved the ball throughout the game, generating 379 total yards (316 rushing, 63 passing) on 62 offensive snaps, but was hampered by three turnovers.
Bastrop's most significant negative was a season-high 17 penalties for 119 yards, many of which occurred in a sloppy second half after the outcome had been determined.
Never trailing in the contest, the Rams opened the game with a 12-play, 44-yard drive.
Scrambling to his right on fourth-and-four, Doaty picked up the first down by the length of the football on the Rams' fourth play from scrimmage.
Payne's 22-yard catch and run led to a first-and-goal from the 6. Calling Payne's number again — this time on the jet sweep — the Rams appeared to take the lead, but were flagged for holding.
On fourth-and-goal from the 2, Green punched it in to put the Rams up 6-0.
Undaunted, the Chiefs (3-7, 0-4) responded with a 13-play, 65-yard drive on 12 running plays. Shaking two tackles, Joseph Tassin powered his way into the end zone from nine yards out to tie the game.
When play resumed, Joshua Bradbury covered the Chiefs' onside kick attempt to give the Rams good field position at midfield.
Converting their third straight fourth down, the Rams moved the chains on Payne's seven-yard gain to the 35.
Graham's 19-yard reception and Kevin Heard's 14-yard pickup enabled the Rams to advance to the 2. After being flagged for a false start, the Rams went ahead to stay. Heard's 7-yard blast up the middle made it 12-6 late in the first period.
West Ouachita's following series was defused by a holding penalty and the Rams set up at their own 43 following the punt.
Three plays later, Green broke free for a 37-yard TD scamper and Jerry Powell's 2-point run stretched the difference to 20-6.
Devante Payton, John Robinson and Chad Rawls stopped three straight running plays for short gains on the Chiefs' third series as the Rams forced a second straight punt.
Starting from the 28, the Rams needed just two plays to visit the end zone. Travion Burks took a swing pass 14 yards, before Payne made his way 58 yards to paydirt. Powell, once again, added the 2-point conversion, putting the Rams in command 28-6 midway through the second quarter.
West Ouachita advanced to the Bastrop 11 on its final full series of the half, before Lester Lee's fumble recovery ended the threat.
David Lee's nine-yard sack in the waning seconds of the half, led to the Rams' only punt of the game.
Bastrop expanded its lead to 35-6 early in the third quarter following Marsaw's fumble recovery at the Chiefs' 38.
Isaiah Graham's 33-yard reception pushed the Rams to the 5. Two plays and a holding penalty later, Doaty lofted an 8-yard pass to Graham in the left corner of the end zone. Clay Winnon tacked on the PAT.
From there, the two teams traded a pair of touchdowns.
Zach Staples rambled 36 yards for the touchdown on the 13th play of 63-yard drive to bring the Chiefs within 35-12.
Just over a minute later, Powell bowled in from eight yards out to put the Rams in charge 42-12.
Quarterback Clay LaBeff's 6-yard run on the final offensive play of the fourth quarter brought the score to 42-18.
Heard's 2-yard run with 11:18 to play wrapped up the scoring.
Bastrop soon came up with its third turnover when pressure from defensive end Rufus Martin led to linebacker Orin Jones' interception.
Notes: Former Bastrop head coach Brad Bradshaw attended the game. … Bastrop cornerback Jawara Davis missed the game with the flu. … Of the six teams who began Week 10 at the bottom end of the top 32, No. 29 Shreveport Woodlawn, No. 31 Bastrop and No. 32 Slidell Salmen won, while No. 7 Baton Rouge Tara, No. 28 Bourg South Terrebonne and No. 30 Jefferson Riverdale lost.