NEW ORLEANS – Ouachita Christian had early problems with conversions but little else in the Eagles’ 67-22 win over Catholic of Pointe Coupee in the Division III state championship game Friday in the Superdome.
The Eagles missed on their first three conversion kicks of the game but the preceding touchdowns already had given Ouachita Christian an 18-7 lead with 29 seconds still remaining in the third quarter.
Opelousas Catholic scored on its second possession of the game on a 20-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hunter Herring to Eli Extine. A missed kick left the Eagles with a 6-0 lead.
Catholic Pointe Coupee answered quickly when Matthew Langlois tight-roped the sideline in front of the Ouachita Christian bench on a 65-yard scoring jaunt. Cameron Ducoteau’s kick gave Catholic Pointe Coupee a 7-6 lead with 3:28 left in the opening quarter.
Two plays into the ensuing possession, Ouachita Christian was back on top 12-7 on a 65-yard toss from Herring to Fitzhugh.
It was the start of a huge game for Herring, named the game’s Outstanding Player, and Fitzhugh. Herring set a championship game record with seven touchdowns, including three rushing and four passing as the Eagles scored the most points ever in a Division IV title game.
Meanwhile, Fitzhugh had a touchdown reception and an interception return for a score in the win.
After the duo connected for the first time then came a flurry of Hornet fumbles.
The first came three plays into Catholic Pointe Coupee’s next possession and led to a 29-yard toss from Herring to a wide-open Tristian Wiley and an 18-7 OSC lead with 29 seconds still remaining in the first quarter.
The turnover was the start of a series of Hornets mistakes that OSC turned into quick points.
Two fumbles, a shanked punt, and another fumble led to four more touchdowns as Opelousas Catholic took a 46-7 halftime lead.
The Eagles took advantage of the miscues by runs of 4 and 33 yards by Herring, a 10-yard pass from the OSC quarterback to Extine and a 15-yard run by Herring.
OSC converted on all of its conversions after the touchdowns, though it mattered little at that point.
For the game, Catholic of Pointe Coupee turned the ball over seven times, including five lost fumbles and two interceptions.
Herring finished the first half with 116 yards rushing on 12 carries and three touchdowns.
Although the was not as much scoring, the second half was more of the same.
The Hornets marched early in the second half but a 91-yard fumble return by Fitzhugh for a touchdown made it 53-7 on Ouachita Christian’s way the 67-22 win.
Herring finished with 171 yards rushing on 14 carries and four touchdowns. He also was 7 of 12 passing for 164 yards and three touchdowns.