This wasn’t a contest, it was a hayride for the Ouachita Lions.
Ouachita made hay even though the sun didn’t shine from its game-opening 17-play, 80-yard scoring drive to the end, when the all-thumbs Alexandria Senior High Trojans missed a chance to score late after getting a first-and-goal at the Ouachita 1.
Ouachita (5-5, 2-3 District 2-5A) blasted ASH, 55-6, at ASH Thursday night to retain hopes of making the Class 5A playoffs. ASH closed its season at 1-9 and 0-5.
Ouachita, coached by former ASH coach Jeff Fitzgerald, was up 21-0 after one quarter and 48-6 by halftime, and the officials used a running clock in the second half to hasten the end of an event that was well in hand.
“This is the worst (loss) I’ve been around,” said ASH first-year coach Sam Goodwin, who spent 17 seasons as the head coach of the Northwestern State Demons and got 102 wins and four Southland Conference championships along the way. “I don’t remember anything quite as bad. We were totally outclassed.”
Ouachita rolled up 472 offensive yards and held ASH to 83 yards. Junior quarterback Matthew Beck of ASH, who two weeks ago passed for 466 yards and three touchdowns in a down-to-the-wire 48-45 loss to Natchitoches Central, completed three of 22 passes for 38 yards and one touchdown and had three intercepted.
Several of his passes were on target to open receivers but dropped.
Ouachita ate up so much time on its game-opening drive, capped by a 2-yard sweep right by Roderick Jackson, that only 4:14 was left in the first period, and ASH had yet to touch the ball.
“They did everything they wanted,” said Goodwin. “That first drive, we made ’em work a little bit, but after that it was all she wrote with big play after big play.”
This is the same school that beat ASH last year, 48-0.
Fitzgerald coached that Ouachita team to victory last year in Monroe, but this was his first return to ASH since he coached the Trojans in the 2012 season.
“I’ve spent more time at Ouachita than I did at Alexandria, but it did feel so weird coming back and going through pre-game warm-ups on this end of the field and looking up at home stands. It was an odd feeling.”
Cam Davis, the senior running back who is Ouachita’s leading rusher for the season, carried nine times for 73 yards and scored two touchdowns on runs of 1 yard.
Jackson, in addition to his 2-yard TD run to cap the opening drive, was on the receiving end of a 60-yard scoring pass from Charles Wright on the first play of Ouachita’s second possession.
ASH went three-and-out on its first two possessions, and the Lions needed just five plays to march 38 yards on their third drive, getting a 12-yard touchdown on a trick-play reverse pass by wide receiver Vershon Hogg to Jaylen Payne in the left end zone.
An interception by senior free safety Don’terrius Spurs and 10-yard return set up Ouachita at the ASH 29, and five plays later Davis scored from the 1.
Davis led Ouachita’s next series with a 37-yard run to the ASH 1, and then took it over from the 1 on the next play.
Robert Levingston broke free on a 58-yard scoring run on the first play of Ouachita’s next series, but ASH finally tasted some good fortune when Kolby Parker recovered a fumble by Charles Wright at the Ouachita 5, setting up a 5-yard scoring pass from Beck to Suede Taylor.
The only score of the quick-running second half was a 23-yard run by 5-foot-3, 169-pound junior fullback Gabe Lewis, followed by Jared Blake’s extra-point kick.
ASH got a first-and-goal at the Ouachita 1 on its final possession after a 26-yard pass from Beck to Xstavius Dorty, but Ladarian Parker was held to no gain on a run and a false start penalty pushed the ball back to the 6.
On the last play, a bad snap over Beck’s head in the shotgun was recovered by Ouachita.
ASH missed the services of leading receiver Jorion Henderson, serving the last day of a suspension, along with receiver Andrew Bell, who hurt his shoulder last week against Ruston.