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|West Monroe season recap|
Week 1: vs. Leesville
After Hurricane Gustav forced the West Monroe football team to call an audible by canceling their week one trip to Thibodaux, the Rebels welcomed Class 4A contender Leesville to Rebel Stadium
West Monroe quickly jumped out to a big lead and did not look back in a 28-7 win over the visiting Wampus Cats.
The rare Saturday tilt saw running back LaDarius Abrams run for 155 yards and three touchdowns in a nice start to his senior season.
Senior quarterback D.J. Banks made his first career start for West Monroe and completed 5-of-10 pass attempts for
Leesville had a lot of hype surrounding their team thanks in large part to LSU commit Micheal Ford leading their rushing attack at the running back position.
West Monroe held Ford in check in the first half before a 85-yard touchdown run after intermission gave him 180 yards total on the night.
Auburn commitment Trevante Stallworth at quarterback put another worry on the Rebel defense as he threw for 178 yards in the contest.
Linebacker David Eley returned a fumble 62-yards for a touchdown as West Monroe scored their first of many defensive touchdowns on the season.
Sophomore Tyler Caine had four catches for 21 yards to lead all West Monroe receivers in the game as well.
West Monroe finished the game with 265 yards rushing and the defense limited Leesville to 238 yards of total offense.
Week 2: vs. Huntington
The Rebels opened district 1-5A play in week two when they hosted the Huntington Raiders of Shreveport.
The Rebels again pounded their opponent with a bruising rushing attack en route to a
West Monroe amassed 268 yards rushing in the game and had contributions from many different faces during the contest.
Quarterback D.J. Banks completed 4-of-5 pass attempts for 125 yards while also rushing for a pair of touchdowns.
Running back Tyler Caine and LaDarius Abrams also found the endzone for the Rebels. Banks was the leading rusher in the game for either team with 116 yards on the ground.
Caine and Abrams had scores on back-to-back possessions to begin the gamee. Caine scored from five-yards out before Abrams went in from 24-yards away on the very next West Monroe possession.
The Rebels gave another dominating performance on defense as they held Huntington to minus-14 yards rushing. The pass rush of defensive ends Jordan Allen and Barkavious Mingo caused havoc for the Raiders all night long.
The Huntington defense soon grew tired of chasing the quickness of the Rebels and West Monroe pounded away at the exhausted defensive front for chunks of yardage in the second half. This also led to many young players getting a chance to test out the Rebel Stadium turf.
The West Monroe offense seemed to show more intensity and focus in the district opener. They again got through the game without a turnover, something that had hampered Rebel teams of the past.
Week 3: vs. Byrd
The undefeated Byrd Yellow Jackets visited Rebel Stadium for the first big test of the 2008 season for the West Monroe Rebels.
The Rebels struggled to run the ball or find the endzone in the first half against a stout Byrd defense determined to make a statement in front of the capacity crowd inside Rebel Stadium.
Neither defense was willing to budge even when things got tough near the endzone. The two squads went to the locker room deadlocked at 0-0.
West Monroe came alive on a 24-yard touchdown run by senior running back LaDarius Abrams to give the Rebels a 7-0 lead.
The Rebels would soon extend the lead when senior quarterback D.J. Banks found fellow senior Josh Remedies for a 56-yard touchdown strike and a 14-0 advantage.
Byrd closed the gap with a touchdown pass from quarterback Clint Bickham to John Martin Anthony to open the fourth quarter.
West Monroe kicker Cody Hollis booted a 36-yard field goal in the middle of the final quarter to seal the deal for West Monroe.
Abrams ran for 78 yards on 15 carries. Banks had 185 yards passing on 9-of-16 attempts as well as 21 yards rushing to lead West Monroe.
Anthony had 80 yards on 11 carries and two receptions for 49 yards to lead the Yellow Jackets.
Remedies made four catches for 144 yards to lead all receivers in the contest. Anthony lead Byrd in both rushing and receiving yards.
Week 4: at Ouachita
The Rebels stepped away from the friendly confines of Rebel Stadium to battle their cross-town rival Ouachita Lions during the fourth week of the season.
West Monroe had little answer for the Ouachita rushing attack led by senior running back Montrell Conner in the first half of the game.
Conner ran for 194 yards and two touchdowns as Ouachita jumped out to a commanding 19-0 advantage at halftime.
West Monroe could not hold onto the football or move the ball with much success in the first two quarters.
West Monroe took their first offensive possession of the second half straight down the field thanks to three consecutive pass completions by senior quarterback D.J. Banks.
Sophomore running back Tyler Caine capped off the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run to get the Rebels on the scoreboard.
Cain ended his big night with a 13-yard touchdown run a 10-yard touchdown reception on a pass from Banks to account for all three West Monroe touchdowns in the game.
Even with a 20-19 lead, Ouachita still had one more chance to win the game in the closing seconds of the contest.
Kicker Matt Little was wide-right on a field goal attempt with under 10 seconds remaining as West Monroe survived with their undefeated record intact for another week.
Banks was 13-of-19 for 150 yards passing. Ouachita limited the run game of West Monroe other than Caine finding the endzone for his pair of rushing touchdowns.
The Rebel defense again flexed its muscle by pitching a shutout of the high-powered Ouachita offense in the second half.
Week 5: vs. Airline
West Monroe took a while to get the offense going again after a hard fought battle at Ouachita the week before hosting the Airline Vikings at Rebel Stadium.
West Monroe led 6-0 at halftime as LaDarius Abrams found the endzone from 18-yards away on his lone touchdown run of the game. Abrams had 50 yards rushing in the ball game.
Quarterback D.J. Banks 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.
The Rebels disrupted the Airline offense all night long. The Vikings had just three first downs and were out-gained by the Rebels 333-90 in total offensive yards.
After a second touchdown run by Banks to give West Monroe a 19-0 lead, Abrams got his first special teams score of the season with a 45-yard touchdown return of a Viking punt.
Senior wide receiver Joel Barfield led the Rebels with three receptions as the pass game continued to be a big part of the offensive success for West Monroe.
West Monroe emptied its bench in the fourth quarter to give some younger Rebels playing time. They contributed as well as Paul Turner, the quarterback in waiting scampered 31-yards for a touchdown late in the game.
Doncorius Powell rounded out the scoring with a late-game touchdown run from a yard out to give West Monroe the large margin of victory. Jordan Allen led the Rebels with double-digit tackles for the third consecutive game.
Week 6: vs. Southwood
The Southwood Cowboys visited Rebel Stadium for Homecoming in week six. West Monroe treated the Cowboys like a red-headed stepchild in a 63-14 victory.
West Monroe scored 42-points in the first half alone in coasting to the big victory in the final homecoming contest for the 2008 Rebel seniors.
Running back LaDarius Abrams ran for 99 yards and two touchdowns on just seven carries as the starters saw limited action in the game after the first quarter had ended.
The Rebels jumped out to a 21-0 lead when quarterback D.J. Banks found wide receiver Josh Remedies open for a big 50-yard scoring strike.
Banks was 2-of-3 for 70 yards before being pulled with the other starters in the second quarter of the game.
The Rebels defense continued to become one of the most dominating in school history by limiting Southwood to just 60 yards of offense.
Linebacker Barkavious Mingo scored his first touchdown of the season when he returned one of four Cowboy fumbles for a touchdown.
Sophomore running back Doncorius Powell exploded in a backup capacity. Powell ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns in his first significant varsity action in the West Monroe backfield.
Demetri Hampton scored his lone touchdown of the season in the first quarter that followed a pair of late Southwood touchdowns.
Hampton scored from four-yards out on a sweep to the right side. The Rebels were able to play almost the entire varsity roster during the homecoming tilt.
Austin Jackson completed 2-of-5 pass attempts for 31 yards in the second half in his own varsity debut for West Monroe.
Week 7: vs. Ruston
The West Monroe Rebels came into week seven with doubts how they would match-up with the physical contention from their rival Ruston Bearcats. Who came in to Rebel Stadium looking to halt a 21-game losing streak to the Rebels.
West Monroe would hear little upset talk after the first quarter as the Rebel defense suffocated the Bearcats during a 31-8 victory for the red and blue.
The Ruston defense held firm on the first West Monroe possession as the Rebels got into field-goal range. Cody Hollis put in a 25-yard kick for the early 3-0 West Monroe advantage.
The Rebel defense shut down Ruston again on the ensuing possession before the Rebels scored their first touchdown of the game.
Senior quarterback D.J. Banks found tight end Taylor Underwood for the first of five touchdown passes throughout the 2008 season.
Underwood had 74 yards and two touchdowns during the game with the Bearcats.
Banks was 4-of-9 pass attempts for 99 yards as well as the Rebel's leading rusher with 112 yards on the ground.
The rest of the first half saw West Monroe losing some focus. A bad snap on a punt led to a safety for Ruston to cut into the Rebels lead, 10-2.
The very next play from scrimmage saw Ruston quarterback Nick Rome find wide receiver Chase Patterson for a 58-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion failed and West Monroe held on to the lead, 10-8.
The second Underwood score gave West Monroe a 17-8 halftime lead. Banks rambled 40-yards to pay dirt to open the third quarter and set up the route for the Rebels.
Week 8: at Natchitoches Central
The Rebels vaulted to their 34th consecutive regular season victory at district foe Natchitoches Central in a 42-7 route of the home standing Chiefs.
Quarterback D.J. Banks was 8-of-13 for 131 yards and three touchdowns for the Rebels against a Natchitoches Central team that could do little for themselves on offense. Banks was also effective running the ball as he picked up 35 yards rushing on just three carries.
The Rebels limited the Chiefs to just 22-yards rushing in the contest. A second-quarter touchdown run was the lone score of the game for Natchitoches Central.
West Monroe wasted less than two minutes of the game before they found the endzone. Tyler Cain found a seam and hit the hole for a 56-yard sprint to pay dirt on the first punt of the game after the Chiefs failed to pick up a first down on the West Monroe defensive unit.
Banks first touchdown pass came to backup fullback Deon Fowler, it was Fowlers third touchdown of the season. Senior wide receivers Josh Remedies and Joel Barfield then caught 8-yard touchdown passes each to give West Monroe a 35-0 lead at the end of the first half.
The West Monroe defense was stout the entire game allowing a quarterback sneak for a touchdown as the only points allowed by the Rebels all night.
Starting full back Eric Talton scored a pair of touchdowns, including a four-yard jaunt late in the ball game that gave West Monroe the 42-7 advantage by which they would reign victorious. Talton lead the Rebels in rushing with 75 yards on eight carries.
Week 9: vs. Captain Shreve
The Rebels slipped by the Captain Shreve Gators on their way to another district championship in the regular season finale in front of a packed house at Rebel Stadium.
West Monroe committed five turnovers in what many would call a very sluggish offensive performance right before the start of the Class 5A playoffs.
Captain Shreve had their own problems holding on to the football, giving the Rebels a renewed hope. A high snap sailed over the head of Gators quarterback Jordan Barnett and the ball was recovered in the endzone by Rebel linebacker Barkavious Mingo.
The score would be the only points of the first quarter. It was not long however, before kicker Cody Hollis nailed a 24-yard kick to give the Rebels a 10-0 advantage.
West Monroe running back LaDarius Abrams scored on a one-yard jaunt, followed by quarterback D.J. Banks finding wide receiver Josh Remedies for a 26-yard touchdown pass to give the Rebels a 24-0 advantage at halftime.
Banks again found the endzone on a dazzling 36-yard touchdown run to begin the third quarter.
Banks was 9-of-13 for 168 yards and one touchdown passing while adding 79 yards and a touchdown rushing to lead the Rebels in every statistical category.
Senior running back LaDarius Abrams poured in his own special recipe for success as he rushed for 77 yards on nine carries for the Rebels.
The Rebels passing game went over 100 yards for the sixth time during the 2008 campaign. Joel Barfield caught three passes for 68 yards to lead the pack in receiving.
Playoffs Round 1: vs. Scottlandville
West Monroe began the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 5A playoffs with a bang by dismantling the Scotlandville Hornets at Rebel Stadium, 56-34.
Neither the offense or defense of West Monroe could be stopped as the Rebels scored at will. The defense, on the other hand, ended the first two Scotlandville possessions with interceptions.
Senior defensive back Jonas Tyson grabbed his first of four postseason interceptions in the first minute of the game. Senior safety Matt Muramoto also picked off Scotlandville quarterback Deon Smith.
Senior quarterback D.J. Banks led the charge on offense for the Rebels. West Monroe found the endzone on their first five offensive possessions to post the big win over the Hornets.
Full back Eric Talton found pay dirt on a two-yard touchdown run early in the game. Banks then ran in for a score after Muramoto made his interception and set up the Rebels for another six points.
The Rebels ran away with it in the second quarter of action. Senior running back LaDarius Abrams scored on a pair of touchdown runs. Sophomore running back Tyler Cain found the endzone for the Rebels on a 15-yard run in the second stanza as well.
West Monroe took a 42-0 lead into the lockers at halftime. West Monroe outgained the Scotlandville squad 358-218.
Scotlandville mounted a large comeback in the second half after reserves got some playoff experience for the Rebels. Scotlandville 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.
West Monroe was able to score in every way possible in the opening round of the playoffs.
Cain returned a third-quarter punt from Scotlandville 65 yards for a touchdown and a 49-0 West Monroe advantage.
Round 2: at St. Thomas More
The West Monroe Rebels fell behind early, but got rejuvenated in the second half en route to a 41-28 win over Saint Thomas More in the second round of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association playoffs in Lafayette.
West Monroe got over the hurdle that had ended their season against other foes from district 2-5A in year's passed.
Just like at Ouachita in the fourth game, West Monroe fell behind St. Thomas More 21-0 in the first quarter before storming back with 35 straight points.
Abrams errupted for 222 yards and a a pair of touchdowns to pace the Rebels. Playing without an injured Cain, quarterback D.J. Banks picked up the slack with 113 yards rushing and 17 yards passing.
Paul Turner returned the opening kickoff of the second half 98-yards for a touchdown. Barkavious Mingo returned a blocked punt 23-yards to give West Monroe a touchdown in every phase of the game.
Full back Eric Talton recorded another touchdown as well with a three-yard jaunt in the third quarter.
The West Monroe defense went into frenzy and completely stumped the Cougars in the third quarter.
Six straight Saint Thomas More possessions ended with a punt before the Cougars could pick up even one first down.
The Rebel defense recorded four sacks, including two by Jordan Allen, as well as a Samer Mahgoub blocked punt to propel the Rebels to victory and a date with Ouachita in the quarter-final round of the playoffs.
Third Round: vs. Ouachita
The Rebels battled Ouachita in a good ol' fashion rivalry playoff game the day after Thanksgiving in 2008.
Rebel Stadium was the scene for the 37-15 West Monroe victory. Lions Stadium was the scene of the match earlier in the season that saw the Rebels storm back from a 19-0 deficit to win 20-19 in thrilling fashion.
The drama would soon be sucked out of this contest as West Monroe came out focused and determined to manhandle their district rivals this time around with so much more riding on the outcome of the game.
The Rebel offense could not move the football on their first possession of the game and when West Monroe (12-0) dropped back to punt, a wild snap flew over the head of the punter and out of the endzone for a safety.
Ouachita led at that point, 2-0, in what would be their only lead of the ballgame. West Monroe continued to struggle on offense as their next drive stalled deep in Ouachita territory on the great play of a fired-up Lions defense.
Cody Hollis booted a 20-yard field goal to give West Monroe their first lead of the game, 3-2, near the end of the first quarter.
The Rebel offense exploded in the second quarter to give West Monroe a 24-2 halftime advantage.
Banks scored on a one-yard touchdown run on the next West Monroe possession. Banks ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries while completing 8-of-10 passes for 82 yards in the game. Eric Talton carried the football 10 times for 43 yards on the night.
A "hook and lateral"gave Ouachita another touchdown when running back Montrell Conner scored on the play to make the score 24-16, West Monroe. The Rebels held Conner to just 55 yards rushing in the game after he rushed for over 200 yards in the pervious two playoff games.
West Monroe would score a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter to go onto the semi-final round against the undefeated Barbe Buccaneers.
Fourth-Round: vs. Barbe
The West Monroe Rebels blitzed their way into the Class 5A stare championship game with a 47-12 victory over previously unbeaten Barbe in the semi-final round.
A standing room only crowd saw the Rebels dominate from start to finish and barely let the Buccaneers up to breathe during the contest.
West Monroe began the game by blitzing the Bucs on their first possession only to see Barbe quarterback Eric Cutrera complete his first four pass attempts to move Barbe near mid-field early in the contest.
Moments later, West Monroe got the best of the Barbe offense as the Rebels did most of the night. Defensive end Jordan Allen stripped the ball from the hands of Cutrera and recovered the ball in Barbe territory.
The miscue proved fatal for Barbe as West Monroe quickly turned the fumble into points after running back LaDarius Abrams raced to the end zone from 17 yards out.
West Monroe missed the first of two PAT kicks and lead 6-0. On the ensuing possession, Barbe marched down field and scored its first touchdown on a 7-yard jaunt by Cutrera.
Quarterback D.J. Banks kept the ball on the option and raced 49 yards untouched for a score to begin the second quarter. The score gave West Monroe a 13-6 halftime advantage.
Sophomore quarterback Paul Turner took a reverse and raced 36-yards to pay dirt to score the first touchdown of the third quarter for the Rebels. The score gave the Rebels a 20-6 lead and put the team on its way to play in its first state championship game since 2005.
Running back LaDarius Abrams finished the game with 89 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Quarterback D.J. Banks ran for 127 yards and passed for 89 on 5-of-7 pass attempts. Banks totaled three scores rushing and one through the air to lead the West Monroe offensive onslaught.