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|Second half outburst fuels West Monroe past Airline|
Coming off a thriller at Ouachita last week, the West Monroe Rebels were looking to get down to business. They wanted to take care of business early, too.
Airline (1-4) had different ideas, but West Monroe smothered the Vikings in the second half for a 40-0 victory in District 1-5A action.
West Monroe (5-0) struggled to find any offensive rhythm in the first half, settling for a 6-0 lead at intermission. Senior running back LaDarius Abrams scampered 18 yards for the only score of the first half of play.
Quarterback D.J. Banks got things together and ignited the Rebels offense with an electrifying 29-yard touchdown run to give WMHS a 13-0 lead after three quarters of action.
Banks finished the game with 79 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Banks also was 8-of-11 passing for 121 yards.
Airline still could not find its offensive power. The Vikings had just three first downs and were out-gained by the Rebels 333-90 in total offensive yards.
"They are struggling offensively," said West Monroe head coach Don Shows. "They have not found an identity, but play pretty well on defense like Ouachita did against us."
After a second touchdown run by Banks to give West Monroe a 19-0 lead, Abrams was off to the house again with a 45-yard punt return for six points.
West Monroe emptied its bench in the fourth quarter to give some younger Rebels playing time. They contributed, too, as sophomore quarterback Paul Turner scampered 31 yards for a touchdown.
Doncorius Powell rounded out the scoring with a late-game touchdown run from a yard away to give West Monroe the 40-point margin of victory.
Abrams was limited to just 50-yards rushing but was accountable for over 100 yards offense and two touchdowns.
Barkavious Mingo, drawing attention from LSU coach Les Miles at the contest, led the Rebels defense with 11 tackles.