ZACHARY -- It would be hard not to give Friday’s game ball to Zachary’s Martell Fontenot.
Sure, there were other players who could justifiably deserve it – quarterback Keilon Brown ran for 101 yards on 13 carries, while Jon Burrell forced a fumble and intercepted a pass – but it was Fontenot alone who managed to keep the ball out of the hands of Scotlandville’s most talented playmaker, Kelvin Joseph.
The senior kicker knocked in three field goals and four extra points in a 39-6 rout over the Hornets. But some of his biggest contribution came on kickoffs, where he kicked all but two balls into the end zone, limiting the Joseph’s chances with the ball in his hands.
Fontenot’s career game in the Broncos’ victory, which clinched the District 4-5A championship, was years in the making.
“You’re always preparing for a game like this,” Fontenot said. “Throughout my career, I’ve been prepared for this moment. We focused on kickoffs and field goals in practice this week and it paid off.”
Unlike the last two times that Scotlandville and Zachary met, Friday’s contest didn’t go down to the wire. In fact, by halftime, the Broncos (7-2, 5-0 district) led 22-0.
While both teams dealt with the rain, the Hornets (7-1, 4-1) were forced to abandon the run early after a slew of fumbles forced them to rethink their offensive game plan.
Zachary lost two fumbles, but managed to maintain a balanced offensive attack, rushing for 190 yards and adding 102 more yards and a touchdown through the air.
Hornets’ quarterback Cameron Armstead struggled corralling snaps, which led to the three fumbles, while wet conditions and a rapid decrease in temperature cost Charles a pair of fumbles. Of the five lost fumbles, only one was the result of contact with a defender.
“We definitely felt it,” Charles said about the temperature drop and the deteriorating conditions. “But they felt it too, so it’s not an excuse. We just had a bad game with a lot of turnovers. It is what it is.”
While Zachary corrected their ball security issues at the beginning of the second quarter, Armstead struggled with constant pressure and containment from a Broncos’ defensive line that welcomed back Caleb Jackson after an extended injury. Fontenot made good on two kicks from 42 and 29 yards to open the scoring.
With Scotlandville pinned into the shadow of its own goal post on fourth down, Christian Bell came off the edge to block Jalen Womack’s punt, with the ball trickling out of the back of the end zone for a safety. Just one drive later, Brown found Khris Simmons from 44 yards out for the game’s first offensive touchdown.
In the eyes of Zachary coach David Brewerton, the safety is what pushed the momentum in his team’s favor.
“We worked on it all week and we felt like we could get home on it,” Brewerton said. “That was huge for us because after that safety, it was a three-score game. It was about that time that we were able to put it out of reach.”
The Broncos came out of halftime sporting a different look: While the jerseys remained the same, Brewerton had his team swap their rain-drenched black pants and helmets for their white pants and helmet, a perk of having home-field advantage.
Having dry uniforms didn’t last long, as the rain that had subsided briefly towards the end of the second quarter and through halftime reappeared shortly after kickoff. With the temperature steadily dropping after Fontenot’s final field goal, the Hornets mustered their only scoring drive of the night early in the third quarter, culminating with Charles’ 1-yard punch-in.
The loss leaves a normally-powerful Scotlandville offense with a black eye, as the Hornets were held to just one touchdown for the first time since Week 4 of the 2014 season when Zachary beat them 41-7. It also marks the Broncos’ second win over the Hornets in the last three seasons.
Zachary will host Belaire (2-7, 0-5) at 7 p.m. next Friday to close out the regular season, while the Hornets will entertain Denham Springs High (6-3, 3-2) in the final week of play prior to the playoffs.
SCOTLANDVILLE 6, ZACHARY 39
Scotlandville 0 0 6 0 -- 6
Zachary 0 22 3 14 -- 39
ZAC – Martell Fontenot 42 FG
ZAC – Fontenot 29 FG
ZAC – Safety, Christian Bell blocked punt out of the end zone
ZAC – Khris Simmons 44 pass from Keilon Brown (Fontenot kick)
ZAC – Tyler Judson 30 interception return (Fontenot kick)
ZAC – Fontenot 24 FG
SCO – Trenton Charles 1 run (pass failed)
ZAC – Trae Shropshire 3 run (Fontenot kick)
ZAC – RJ Allen 2 run (Fontenot kick)
First downs 7 9
Total yards 209 279
Rushes-yards 35-204 38-177
Passing yards 5 102
Passes 1-8-2 5-9-0
Fumbles-lost 5-4 2-2
Punts-avg. 3-32.0 1-52.0
Penalties-yards 3-25 2-10