End of the Road

Delta Charter quarterback Juvari Singleton stiff-

arms Ethan Bazinet of Basile Friday.

Delta Charter saw its season come to an end as Basile High rushed for 273 yards in a 26-14 Class 1A Regional win over the Storm Friday at Delta Charter.

The Storm finishes its season at 6-5, while Basile improved to 8-4 and hosts No. 1 Logansport Friday.

“We just couldn’t get their offense off the field,” said Delta Charter head coach Blake Wheeler. “They are a hard-nosed, well-coached football team. They ultimately grinded us to death on offense and limited our possessions. But our kids played hard and I am very proud of them.”

Delta Charter had an uncharicteristic 10 penalties for 102 yards, including three unsportsmanlike penalties.

“A lot of that was frustration on the defense not being able to get off the field,” Wheeler said.”There was some jawing going on, but we didn’t respond the way I wanted us to. We have to be smarter than that. And that was something we didn’t do all year.”

The first quarter was two long possessions by both teams that took up almost the entire period.

The Bearcats went 73 yards on nine plays on their first possession as Ashton Deaville went in from 11 yards out.

Ross Cortez added the point-after kick.

Delta Charter answered with a 75-yard, 11-play drive, which ended with quarterback Juvari Singleton breaking a run to the right outside and going 32 yards for the score. Tailback Payten Roberts ran in the conversion on a direct snap for an 8-7 Storm lead with 20 seconds remaining in the first half.

The drive was highlighted by the Storm going for it on fourth-and-three at their own 33-yard line with Singleton getting the three yards to the 36.

“That was just a gut feeling I had,” Wheeler said. “And after watching what they did on their first possession I didn’t think we could give it back to them right there.”

Singleton finished with 154 yards on 21 carries.

“Their quarterback is who we thought he was,” said Basile head coach Kevin Bertrand. “He is a great player.”

Basile used a 21-yard kickoff return to the Bearcat 46 to key a 54-yard, 10-play drive with ended with quarterback Luc Johnson taking it in from one yard out. The conversion failed leaving Basile with a 13-8 advantage with 6:48 remaining in the first half.

Delta Charter moved the ball again, with its first pass from Singleton to Jared Barron covering 17 yards to the Basile 40-yard line.

Delta Charter marched down to the Basile 18-yard line, but an attempted halfback pass on fourth-and-11 under heavy pressure was short of a wide open Jestin Garrison in the end zone with 2:55 remaining.

“That’s a play we have been working on all week,” Wheeler said. “We knew their cornerbacks were very aggressive. I felt myself trying to reach back and catch that. But they brought a lot of pressure on that play.”

Basile used a 31-yard pass from Johnson to Jared Thomas to moved the ball to the Storm 24.

The Bearcats appeared to score when Deaville ran straight up the middle into a crowd of Storm defenders, but busted out and ran into the end zone.

But an inadvertant whistle as the 17-yard line negated the score.

Basile moved the ball to the 12, but Singleton then intercepted a pass in the end zone with 24 seconds remaining to end the half with the Storm trailing 13-8.

“There  was a little let-down, but we knew we had a whole second half to worry about,” Bertrand said..

Delta Charter moved the ball into Bearcat territory on its first drive of the second half, but an unsportsmanlike penalty pushed the Storm back, forcing a punt from their own 30.

Roberts’ punt sailed to the Bearcat 23, but another unsportsmanlike penalty over the ball to the Basile 43.

Basile grinded out a 57-yard, 15-play drive which consisted of all running plays that ended with Bazinet going in from two yards out. Cortez added the kick.

Bazinet finished with 131 yards on 24 carries.

“I was proud of our offensive line,” Bertrand said. “And our backs did a great job of pounding the ball. We were able to establish some long drives.”

Delta Charter pulled to within 20-14 midway early in the final quarter as the Storm took advantage of an unsportsmanlike call against Basile to go 55 yards for a score with Singleton scoring from two yards out. The conversion failed.

A squib kick and penalty against Delta Charter gave Basile possession at the Storm 45.

Eight plays later, Basile’s Horace Edwards scored from seven yards out, but the conversion for a 26-14 Storm advantage with 4:04 remaining.

Edwards then picked off a pass in Storm territory and the Bearcats ran out the clock to end the game.

Delta Charter finished with 171 rushing yards and 35 passing.

“I was proud of our defense,” Bertrand said. “They fought hard all night.”

Wheeler hopes to build on the positives from this past season into next season when the Storm will possibly be playing in a new district without Ouachita Christian, Oak Grove, Cedar Creek and St. Frederick. 

Seventy-five percent of our team are freshmen and sophomores,” Wheeler said. “I hope they learn from our seniors, and they step up like they did this year. If we want to get over the hump to go further in the playoffs they have to do that.”

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