Area all-stars blast River team, 34-0

Bayou All-Stars quarterback Elijah McGuire hands off to running back Ralph Singleton in Friday's Lions Club Bayou River Showdown at John L. Guidry Stadium. (Photo by Christian Lovell/Correspondent)

Elijah McGuire could not have written a more perfect ending to his high school football career.

The Vandebilt Catholic senior quarterback finished his final high school game with 118 yards rushing and two scores, and added another 57 yards passing, to help the Bayou Region All-Stars cruise past the Region All-Stars 34-0 Friday night at Nicholls’ John L. Guidry Stadium in the 13th Annual HTV-10 Thibodaux Lions Club Bayou vs. River All-Star Showdown.

McGuire’s performance earned him the Most Valuable Player honors for the Bayou team, which took the 4-3 series lead in the series in its current format.

“This is my first time experiencing something like this,” McGuire said. “We’ve only been together for one week, and it feels like we have been together for the whole season. That’s how much fun this whole experience has been.”

For Bayou coach Gary Hill of Terrebonne, the opportunity to coach a talent like McGuire, who led the state in rushing this season with over 2,600 yards, was a pleasure.

“It’s a lot easier. You hate having to prepare for someone like (Elijah),” Hill said. “You practice not to be too hard on him but he has another gear when the lights come on. He’s a great kid, well deserving of the MVP, and I hope he continues to have a nice career.”

Hill also came away impressed with the way the team came together in the short period of time, especially with the defense being able to pitch a shutout for the first time since the game took on its current format.

“We were pleased with our continuity, it really showed,” Hill said. “They all know each other. They are all friends and, it really came together. No matter what rivalries happen during the season, in the end they all become friends. It’s great to be able to experience this.”

McGuire took control of the game early, accounting for 41 yards and a touchdown on the opening possession of the game. He capped off an eight play drive by taking to the left sideline for a 25-yard scoring run to give the Bayou an early lead 7-0 with 7:53 to play following the Taylor Keller (South Lafourche) extra point.

After forcing the River to a three-and-out, the Bayou offense went right back to work on its next possession, as a reverse to Assumptions DeJuawn Oliver found pay dirt from 7 yards out to increase the Bayou’s lead to 14-0 with 4:28 to play in the opening quarter.

A 48-yard scamper by McGuire set up the score for the Bayou. After both teams traded possessions, an interception by South Lafourche’s Braxton Acosta gave the ball back to the Bayou, where a 35-yard pass from McGuire to Ellender’s Ralph Singleton (70 total yards) put the Bayou on the 7-yard line.

Two plays later, McGuire ran through the line for his second score of the day, a one yarder, to increase the Bayou lead to 21-0 at halftime. Hill credited the team for executing the game plan to near perfection.

“Our defense played great. No matter who we put in, they all played well,” Hill said. “We had the same effect offensively. The coaches had a great game plan, and the kids did a great job of executing it.”

Despite getting the ball to open the third quarter, things didn’t get any better for the River as a high snap sailed over the head of Hahnville’s Brooks Vial and fell into the arms of Bayou defenders at the 1-yard line. From there, Central Lafourche’s Bryson Davis barreled through the defense and into the end zone for the team’s fourth score of the night to increase the Bayou lead to 28-0 with 9:28 to play in the third quarter.

The Bayou defense stepped up again as Ellender’s Wilshawn Jones recovered a fumble and went 82 yards for the score to account for the final points of the night and a 34-0 Bayou lead following a missed extra point.

The River team threatened to score late, but the last of four sacks by South Lafourche’s Chris Berry sparked a red-zone stand to preserve the shutout for the Bayou.

Berry led the Bayou defense, giving the River offensive line fights all game with four sacks and numerous tackles.

“We played well as a team,” Berry said. “We were out here to have fun. It was one of the best weeks of my life. I’m pleased with the way I played, and I’m excited to have been a part of this. It was a good way to cap off my season.”

East St. John’s Leonard Davis earned the MVP honors for the River, finishing with 60 yards rushing and 105 yards passing. Mark George of Covenant Christian Academy (40 yards) and Singleton (35 yards) helped contribute to the 218 total rushing yards by the Bayou. The Bayou out-gained the River 297-267 in total yards.



HTV will show the game at 1 p.m. on Dec. 29 and 30 and at 1 p.m. Jan. 5 and 6 with NFL analyst and college football expert Mike Detillier and HTV’s Stan Gravois on the call and Harry McCulla on the sidelines ... The Lion’s Club puts money from the game toward scholarships for some players and cheerleaders involved and toward other community causes Last season the Thibodaux Lion’s Club distributed $7,500 in scholarships to student-athletes and cheerleaders who participated in the game.