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Yellow Jackets strike early to sting Braves

NEW IBERIA — Before H.L. Bourgeois players and fans blinked their eyes, the Braves trailed New Iberia Senior High by two touchdowns on Friday night.

Before they even had a chance to get comfortable in the stands, the Braves were down three touchdowns.

And before the first quarter came to an end, H.L. Bourgeois was down by four scores.

"You're playing a Top 10 team," H.L. Bourgeois coach Ben Powell said. "They're fast, and they're physical and you can't shoot yourself in the foot. You can't have fumbles, penalties and make mental mistakes against them."

And the Braves managed to do all three things in the first quarter in an eventual 54-12 loss to New Iberia on Friday in District 7-5A.

It started out poorly for H.L. Bourgeois (2-4 overall, 0-3 in district). On their initial series of the game, the Braves lost 12 yards of offense and managed a poor 21-yard punt to give the Yellow Jackets the ball at the H.L. Bourgeois 32-yard line.

Five plays later, New Iberia quarterback Jason Jones hit Antonio Jack on a 17-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead just 2 minutes into the game.

Another H.L. Bourgeois possession led to another punt and another Jones touchdown pass, this time 34 yards to Andrew Ricks and the Jackets led 14-0 with 8:32 left in the first quarter.

The Braves third possession of the game was a little better as the visitors drove to the New Iberia 27-yard line before Ian Lewis jumped a Jake Broggi pass and intercepted it for the Jackets.

That led to another New Iberia touchdown pass from Jones to Andrew Ricks and it was 21-0 Jackets with 3:14 left in the first quarter.

And to add insult to injury, H.L. Bourgeois' fourth possession led to a 75-yard interception return for a score by New Iberia's Kavionte Haywood and a 27-0 Yellow Jacket lead with 1:27 left in the opening quarter.

It wasn't that the Braves couldn't move the ball against New Iberia (5-1, 3-0 in district), it was the fact that H.L. Bourgeois couldn't put the ball into the end zone.

"It's no secret that we have a freshman quarterback and here's what happens," Powell said. "As the field gets compressed people get in man coverage and for a vertical thrower it's easier in the middle of the field to score than once you get close.

"He made a couple of decisions you would expect a freshman to make. It's just you don't expect them running your varsity offense when they made them."

H.L. Bourgeois quarterback Jake Broggi, finished the night completing 21-of-40 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had three interceptions and two of those were run back for touchdowns.

"We weren't super sharp, but I wasn't expecting us to be sharp with all the things that we went through this week," said Hutson, whose team was dealing with homecoming at the school this week and also the fact that one of the players on last year's team was buried Wednesday after being shot in Little Rock, Ark., last week where he played football at Arkansas Baptist College. "I knew the focus wasn't what it was."

New Iberia added two more scores in the second quarter and two more in the fourth quarter while H.L. Bourgeois, which managed 230 offensive yards in the game, got two touchdown passes from Broggi to Chris Harris, one in the second quarter and another in the fourth quarter.

"We played well, but that (New Iberia) is a team on a roll right now," Powell said.