SCOTT – With three opportunities this season to get a look at teams with past Class 5A state championship pedigree, Walker High came away feeling Friday it may have run into the very best team.
They certainly played it like on this night.
A week after erasing a two-decades long drought without tasting postseason success, the No. 16 Wildcats were looking to extend their history-making season with a trip in the Class 5A state regional to four-time state champion Acadiana, this year’s top-seeded team.
There was no disputing that claim after Acadiana’s veer attack – which was both methodical at times and dizzying as well – rushed for more than 500 yards en route to eliminating Walker with a 49-0 victory Friday at Bill Dotson Stadium.
“It’s very different,” Walker senior safety Aubrey Womack said of Acadiana’s offense. “Nobody really runs that now. It’s hard to simulate that. It’s just a different speed.”
Acadiana (12-0) averaged 15.7 yards per play in rolling to a 29-0 halftime advantage and wound up amassing 506 total yards – all on 44 running plays – with lightning-quick running back Dillion Monette – who is committed to Army - leading the way with 16 carries for 256 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns.
Quarterback Keonte Williams had six carries for 88 yards and two TDs, while running back Lucky Brooks, who also committed to Army, had nine attempts for 69 yards a third-quarter TD that made it 42-0 with a 1:29 to go.
“That’s what makes the attack so tough,” Walker coach Chad Mahaffey said. “They’ve seen all the things teams try and do against them, so you try and take away one thing. They did a good job of getting to other things that were successful for them.”
Walker (8-4) was limited to 125 yards – 59 of which took place on the game’s first drive – with quarterback Ethan McMasters completing 9-of-24 passes for 107 yards and two interceptions.
Wide receiver Brian Thomas caught three passes for 70 yards, while Peyton Richard had two catches for 33 yards and Kevin Brady two for five yards for the Wildcats, who were shutout for the first time this season.
“We knew this was going to be a big challenge,” Acadiana coach Matt McCullough said. “I thought we had a tremendous week of practice. I think a lot of people around were saying we were going to give up a lot of points to Walker and our defense played with a little chip on their shoulder and did a heck of a job. That’s a good offensive team we shut out.”
The opportunities, as scarce as they were, came early for Walker before Acadiana unleashed its offensive avalanche that resulted in a 29-0 halftime lead.
Walker elected to receive the opening kickoff and drove to Acadiana’s 21-yard line. The 13-play, 59-yard drive, which included three first-down conversions, didn’t result in any points when Bradley Cain’s 38-yard field goal attempt bounded off the crossbar with 6:44 showing in the first quarter.
“It’s a tough challenge and that’s why these guys are good,” Mahaffey said. “You’ve got to connect on those things; cash in when you get some opportunities. It feels like a lost cause but if you make some points there it helps the defense out. All those things tie together. Those guys are a great team.”
Walker’s defense got the ball back two plays later when defensive back Kerry Flowers recovered Monette’s fumble at the Wildcats’ 37-yard line, but once again the offense wasn’t able to produce any points.
Walker crossed midfield on a 14-yard reverse from Thomas and the Wildcats got as close as Acadiana’s 33, but McMasters threw two incompletions and a pair of run plays didn’t gain any yards.
Acadiana scored on its next four offensive possessions, needing just 22 plays to rush for 346 yards.
Monette scored on first-half runs of 68 and 57 yards and went on to break the school’s career rushing record of 5,012 yards previously held by Alley Broussard, who played collegiately at LSU.
In between those two lengthy scoring runs, the Rams took advantage of a high snap over the head of Cain, who was in punt formation, for a safety and 9-0 lead.
Acadiana also parlayed two interceptions into a pair of second-quarter touchdowns on runs of 36 and 30 yards from Williams and Tyvin Zeno, respectively, to make it 29-0 at halftime.
“If we’re going to build a program and make deep runs this is a team we’re going to run up against a time or two in the future,” said Mahaffey, whose team also lost to Destrehan and Zachary in the regular season. “We’ll work to get better as a staff. This is a tough way to end it, but I’m just proud of the guys. There’s a lot of positives on the season.”
Acadiana 49, Walker 0
Score By Quarters
Walker 0 0 0 0 – 0
Acadiana 15 14 13 7 - 42
AHS – Dillion Monette 68 run (Landon Guidry kick)
AHS – Safety. Ball snapped out of end zone
AHS – Monette 37 run (run failed)
AHS – Keonte Williams 36 run (Guidry kick)
AHS – Tyvin Zeno 30 run (Guidry kick)
AHS – Williams 19 run (kick blocked)
AHS – Lucky Brooks 6 run (Landry kick)
AHS – O’Miri Wiggins 32 run (Landry kick)
First Downs 7 16
Rushes-Yards 24-18 44-506
Passing Yards 107 0
C-A-I 9-24-2 0-0-0
Punts-Avg. 1-0 1-28
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-1
Penalties-Yards 2-10 11-95