Friday night’s matchup between the Lafayette Lions and the Sulphur Tornadoes was a clear example of two diametrically opposite offensive philosophies.
It was old school vs. new school, smash mouth rushing vs. finesse passing. It was the Lafayette’s veer vs. Sulphur’s spread,
In this contest, new school edged old school as Sulphur prevailed 47-35.
One of the easiest ways to demonstrate the difference between these two philosophies is to look at the stats. LHS ran the ball 61 times for 352 yards and three touchdowns.
LHS coach Jay Domengeaux said his team “gave a lot of effort. The effort was there.”
The effort was there for LHS especially from the Lion offensive line, which paved the way for the cornerstones of LHS’s veer offense — the running backs. Aaron Woods gained 200 yards on 32 carries including two touchdowns of one and 11 yards. Running back Waylon Simoneaux also pitched in with 115 yards on 24 carries including a 4-yard touchdown.
In contrast, Sulphur’s offense was led by quarterback Kale Breaux, who was 15 for 19 passing amassing 368 yards and four touchdowns of 80, 48, 5, and 59 yards, respectively. The spread offensive passing game gave the Lion defense trouble throughout the night.
“They kept throwing the ball over the top of us. They did not miss throwing anything. They caught everything. They executed very well. I was very impressed with what they did offensively,” Domengeaux said.
Another glaring difference between the two offensive styles is time of possession. Lafayette had long, sustained scoring drives of 7:15, 5:57, and 5:13, for example, while Sulphur countered with the spread and scoring drives lasting 0:16, 0:08, and 1:18. The veer is built to control the time of possession. The spread is built to score quickly.
Despite the contrasting styles, for most of the game the two teams looked evenly matched. LHS scored touchdowns on five consecutive 80-yard drives. The Lion’s final scoring drive was followed by a 59-yard touchdown pass from Sulphur’s Kaie Breaux to Gary Blanchard to make the score 35-33 in favor of the Lions with 3:28 remaining in the third quarter.
The turning point in the game occurred on the ensuing Tornadoe onside kick attempt which bounded into the air past the Lion special teamers down to the Lion 27 yard line and was eventually recovered by the Tornadoes.
Sulpher gained possession with 3:16 remaining in the third quarter and scored two unanswered touchdowns to close out the game 47-35.
Lafayette had one final opportunity to regain the lead on a final drive that culminated with a fourth-and-5 from the Sulphur 20, but LHS quarterback Colin Comeaux was dragged down half a yard short of the first down marker dousing the Lions’ chances for victory.
“Down there towards the end near the goal line we gotta punch it in,” Domengeaux said.