Warriors outlast Haynes, rain
Sat. October 12, 2013 at 12:54 a.m. | By Keyon Jeff/Sports Correspondent
Houma Christian quarterback Drake Battaglia (2) fends off the tackle of Haynes Academy defender Alex Spears during Friday's game at Warrior Field in Schriever. (Photo by Keyon K. Jeff/Correspondent)
SCHRIEVER — The Houma Christian offense got all the points it needed before heavy rains poured down on Friday afternoon at Warrior Field.
Meanwhile, the Warriors defense produced five turnovers and made stops at key moments to earn a 7-6 nondistrict victory over Haynes Academy, a Class 2A independent.
"Whenever you win the turnover battle, you're going to come out on top," Warriors head coach Chuck Battaglia said. "This was a good win for us. We had to adjust quickly to all the rain, and I was impressed how well our guys did that and not let the conditions affect them."
Houma Christian's (3-3 overall) defense caused a fumble on the game's first play with Dashon Frye recovering the ball on the 40-yard line.
The Warriors capped an eight-play drive with quarterback Drake Battaglia (5-of-11, 28 yards passing; 16 carries, 55 yards rushing) John Broussard on a screen pass and taking it 13 yards for a touchdown. The PAT by Sam Trosclair gave Houma Christian a 7-0 lead with 7:43 left in the first quarter.
Haynes Academy (4-2) drove inside the Warriors' 20-yard-line three times in the first half and came away with zero points. They put together an 11-play drive that spanned into the second quarter. But on fourth-and-goal, the Warriors defense stood tall and stopped the Yellow Jackets at the 2-yard line.
Haynes got inside the Warriors 10 again on their next possession. On first-and-goal, Yellow Jacket quarterback Charlie Magaw (1-of-2, 18 yards passing) pitched out the ball, and there was nobody in the backfield. Je'Corie Ward recovered the fumble at the 13 for Houma Christian.
On the ensuing Haynes drive, Magaw was intercepted at the 3-yard line by Drake Battaglia, who returned the ball to the 12. The Warriors took a 7-0 lead into halftime.
"We killed ourselves with too many mistakes," Yellow Jackets head coach Kenny Kendrick said. "We had opportunities when the weather was good, and we didn't take advantage on any of them. The better team won (Friday)."
While most the crowd chose watch the second half from the dryness of their vehicles, the players soldiered on in monsoon-like rain.
Neither team moved the ball effectively, but Haynes' backs could barely hold on the slippery football. Houma Christian defenders Dylan Authement and Di'von Carter, respectively, recovered fumbles the Yellow Jackets first pair of drives in the third quarter.
"We had to change our game plan because of the weather in the second half," Chuck Battaglia noted. "We couldn't throw the ball. We had to basically stick with some quarterback power (runs) and just hope to hold on to the ball."
A bad snap on a Warriors punt attempt finally gave Haynes the break they desperately needed, starting their ensuing drive from the 15-yard line.
On the first play of the final quarter, Yellow Jacket quarterback Kyle Montgomery fumbled the ball from the 7-yard line into the end zone, and lineman Michael Bossier fell on the ball on a Haynes touchdown. The Warriors defense stuffed Montgomery on the 2-point conversion attempt to maintain a 7-6 lead with 11:51 remaining.
Haynes tried to mount a late game-winning drive, but on third-and-2 near midfield, Warrior linebackers Abram Miller and Authement sacked Montgomery back to the 35, snuffing out the Yellow Jackets last chance at victory.
Coach Battaglia hopes the Warriors defense continues to bring its ball-hawking ways into next week's battle against Covenant Christian.
"They're starting to see the hard work pay off, but they need to keep improving on that," he said. "We got an important district game next week. We're going to need that same effort and intensity come away with a win."