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|Rebels hit road after beating Scotlandville|
The West Monroe Rebels will travel for the second-round of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 5-A playoffs this Friday night with a trip to Lafayette. The St. Thomas More Cougars are on the docket for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
West Monroe advanced to the second-round after last Friday night dispatching Scotlandville, 56-34.
The West Monroe offense and defense was clicking all the way around to start the game. The Rebels ended the first two Scotlandville possessions with interceptions by Jonas Tyson and Matt Muramoto.
Quarterback D.J. Banks was part of a well-balanced offensive attack. The Rebels scored touchdowns on their first five offensive possessions with relative ease.
"We executed flawlessly in the first half," West Monroe head coach Don Shows said. "We could not have played much better on offense."
Fullback Eric Talton scored on a 2-yard touchdown run in the first quarter before Banks turned the second interception into a one-yard touchdown scamper.
The onslaught continued in the second quarter. Running back Ladarius Abrams scored a pair of touchdowns before Banks found Tyler Cain on a 18-yard touchdown pass.
West Monroe took a 42-0 lead into the lockers at halftime. West Monroe outgained the Scotlandville squad 358-218.
The special teams got in the act as well for the Rebs after intermission. Cain returned a third-quarter punt from Scotlandville 65 yards for a touchdown and a 49-0 West Monroe advantage.
With the Rebels switching to mostly younger players and reserves in the second half, Scotlandville mounted a huge offensive comeback. Quarterback Deon Smith scored on an 18-yard touchdown run to begin the spurt. Then again on an electrifying 53-yard scamper on the next possession.
The Rebels helped out the Hornets on the next possession with a fumble recovery in the endzone to cut the West Monroe lead to 49-21.
Talton put the game away after the Rebels returned their starting offense to the field late in the game. Talton finished the game with 54 yards and two scores on 13 carries.
Abrams was the rushing leader for West Monroe with 97 yards, two touchdowns and 17 carries.
Banks was 7-of-11 passing for 140 yards and one touchdown. He also added 83 yards and a touchdown rushing the ball for the Rebels.
The win earns the Rebels a second-round spot in the playoffs. West Monroe will travel to No.17 St. Thomas More, who defeated No.16 Northshore last week, 34-12.
The Rebels will enter a familiar yet dangerous territory: The team has lost to a member of the same district in the second-round of the playoffs each of the past two seasons.
Last season, miscues in the fourth quarter cost West Monroe in a 19-14 loss to Acadiana. In 2006, Sulphur stormed into Rebel Stadium and claimed victory.
St. Thomas More (8-3) has produced big numbers on offense this season, including an average 28 points per game. A pair of losses earlier in the season to powerhouse programs Barbe and Acadiana did not phase them on Friday night.
The Cougars are primarily a rushing attack led by quarterback Emile Joseph. Joseph was forced to throw the ball against Northshore last week and responded by completeing 11-of-20 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns.
The STM defense forced five turnovers, which was a problem with the Rebels offense until the playoffs began. Keeping the STM offense off the field and shortening the game with a solid rushing attack will be key for the Rebels.