PLAIN DEALING — The Basile Bearcats came up to North Louisiana with one simple game plan — run, run, and run again.
The Bearcats’ strong running game allowed them to win a close battle, 25-14, against the Plain Dealing Lions to advance to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 1A quarterfinals.
“Just an outstanding effort,” Basile head coach Tony Bertrand said. “I’m very excited with the way the boys played. (They played) so consistently, both offensively and defensively. (Plain Dealing) has athletes everywhere, and I think we did a good job slowing them down and not letting them get too many big plays on us.”
Sophomore running back Kendrick Ceaser busted loose for 230 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, as the team needed every single bit of his effort in a hard-fought victory.
“He’s been doing it all year,” Bertrand said. “Kendrick’s only a sophomore, and he went over the 2,000-yard mark tonight. So him breaking plays like that is second-nature to him.”
Basile (11-1) ran for 274 yards, but it was Ceaser’s 75-yard romp that iced the game for the Bearcats.
Plain Dealing (8-4) gave the Bearcats all they could handle, however.
“You can’t take anything from what our guys did this year,” Plain Dealing head coach Coy Brotherton said. “We weren’t supposed to win the first one, so this was free football tonight. That was the attitude we had coming into the game.”
The Lions defense blocked a pair of extra points, held Basile to 30 passing yards and forced three fumbles to keep things close.
Deamaunte Johnson passed for 150 yards and ran for 61 yards — including a 45-yard run for a touchdown.
However, missed opportunities crushed Plain Dealing’s hopes, as they failed to capitalize twice in the red zone, and a bad snap while down 11 with more than a minute left sealed the Lions’ fate for good.
“We got down early, had some things we worked on in practice, wasn’t able to execute them. It was not a typical night for us,” Brotherton said. “I really felt like we played better games this year. But the guys fought back.”
Basile will host Kentwood next week in a rematch of last year first round matchup. Kentwood won that game 40-6.