OPELOUSAS — With replacement referees getting so much attention in the NFL this past week, perhaps Opelousas High coach Quentin Payne would have liked a new crew for the Tigers’ game against St. Martinville Thursday.
Opelousas racked up 22 penalties for 198 yards in its 48-14 loss to St. Martinville.
“There is no way you can win like that,” Payne said. “Those things are bad habits and undisciplined football. We are so used to not doing the things it takes to win football games and we need to keep coaching them up.”
St. Martinville’s Malik Anthony fumbled twice in the first half, but redeemed himself quite nicely to the tune of 226 yards and two touchdowns.
“Malik got pressed into starting duty this season,” St. Martinville coach Gary Adkins said. “He hits the hole really hard and he is fun to coach. It’s fun to watch someone like that who works hard and reaps the benefits of that work.”
Opelousas held a 14-8 lead at halftime. The Tigers used a 65-yard touchdown pass from Josh Fontenot to Johnny Guidry to open scoring after a crazy play where Opelousas fumbled into the end zone and St. Martinville couldn’t fall on it. The ball went out of the end zone, but officials ruled that St. Martinville had gained possession and then fumbled, which resulted in a safety.
“I felt like we never gained control of it. Ever,” Adkins said. “I thought it was a safety. The last team that had possession was Opelousas. The official told me we did have it then he told me we didn’t. I’m going to have to look at the tape.”
The turning point came in the second half when St. Martinville scored touchdowns on back-to-back possessions off turnovers. St. Martinville shut Opelousas out in the second half.
“We were bigger, stronger and faster than they were,” Payne said. “I think that shocked them in the first half.
“We got outsmarted in the second half. We didn’t play disciplined football and it cost us.”