The Sulphur Golden Tors used a punishing ground attack, an opportunistic passing game, and a stingy defense to catapult them past the Comeaux Spartans 56-28 in the District 3-5A opener for both teams on Friday night.
Sulphur, who got three touchdown passes from quarterback Byron Walker, rushed for over 300 yards as a team, including 193 from J’cobi Skinner, who also scored twice, to help spoil homecoming festivities at Spartan Field.
“I certainly want to apologize to the fans, as we definitely wanted a better homecoming performance,” Comeaux coach Doug Dotston said. “We wanted to do a better job of playing well, and providing some excitement for them, and we didn’t do that.
“It wasn’t from lack of hard work, or practice, or anything like that,” Dotson said. “We’re just missing a few ingredients, and when something like this happens to you, and you have strong character, which I believe we do, then you learn from it, and become better because of it.”
The Tors got on the scoreboard on their first possession of the game when Skinner ran scored on a 1-yard touchdown run, capping off an 8-play, 73-yard drive to give them a quick 7-0 lead.
Sulphur came right back and scored again on their next possession, when Walker hit Christian Trahan with a 22-yard touchdown pass, completing a 9-play, 91-yard drive, to widen the advantage to 14-0 at the 2:46 mark of the opening quarter.
Comeaux trimmed the deficit to 6 points at the 5:50 mark of the second period when Tiki Pascual put the exclamation point on a 6-play, 51-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown runbefore Latrevian Thomas run in the 2-point conversion, making the score 14-8 Sulphur.
The Spartans had a chance to possibly take the lead right before the end of the half, with possession of the football inside of the Sulphur 40 with less than 2:00 remaining in the half.
Disaster struck however, when the Tors recovered a fumble on a Comeaux option play, giving them a chance to score before the end of the half.
Sulphur did just that, going on a 5-play, 50-yard drive that took them only 0:49 with Walker and Trahan hooking up on their second touchdown pass of the half, this one from 6 yards out, to complete the drive, and give the Tors a 21-8 halftime edge.
“I think the turnover before the end of half was huge, and that was my fault,” said Dotson. “We were pounding it at them, running sweeps right at them, so we probably should have continued to do that.”
The Tors kept the momentum at the beginning of the second half, scoring on a 7-play, 48-yard drive, when Skinner got into the end zone for the second time during the evening, this time on a 4 –yard scoring run, lengthening their lead to 28-8 at the 10:01 mark of the third quarter.
Sulphur put the game away at the 5:00 of the third quarter, when Walker scored on a 14-yard keeper, capping off a 10-play, 76-yard drive, to widen the gap to 35-8
The Tors continued to put points on the board however, as Walker threw his third touchdown pass of the night, this one to Garrett Brame from 23 yards away, ending a 7-play, 86-yard drive, to extend their lead even more, 42-8, at the :52 mark of the third quarter.
The Spartans wouldn’t quit however, as Pascual scored on a 73-yard touchdown run, cutting the lead to 42-15 with :37 left in the third.
The celebration was short-lived however, as Glenn Willis took back the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, giving the Tors a 49-15 advantage after three quarters.
Sulphur added another touchdown, the final one of the game, with 3:31 remaining, when Willis scored on a 22-yard run, making the score 56-15.
The Tors added another late touchdown, and the Spartans tacked on two of their own in the final 2:00, including a third rushing touchdown by Pascual, to complete the scoring, as Sulphur left with the 28-point win.
“This is a building process, and it’s not an easy thing,” said Dotson. “I told the guys that this is one of the toughest districts in the state of Louisiana, and everybody in here has winning experience, which is something we don’t quite have yet.
“We have some things we have to fix,” said Dotson. “I know they’re fixable. It’s just a matter of getting it done.”
With the victory, Sulphur improved to 3-1, overall, while Comeaux dropped to 2-2.
The Spartans will travel to face Sam Houston next week, while the Tors will visit Acadiana.
“We’re gonna learn from this,” said Dotson. “We’ve been working hard, but we’ve got to learn to make adjustments on the run, which we didn’t do tonight.
“Sam Houston is where we want to be,” said Dotson. “They’re taken a big step up, they’re a really good team that’s really well-coached, and we’ve got our work cut out for us.”