Casey Cobb (56) and Grant Mashaw (57) of Ouachita Christian chase Sacred Heart quarterback Ethan Karonika out of the pocket during Friday night's Division IV first round playoff game. (Photo by Brad Sanson/Sprig Designs)

Ouachita Christian built a 41-0 halftime lead Friday night on its way to a 54-0 Division IV first round playoff victory over Sacred Heart-Ville Platte.

“We had a good outing Friday night,” OCS coach Steven Fitzhugh said. “We played well offensively and defensively, and the special teams did a good job.”

OCS (10-1) forced the Trojans (5-6) into an empty possession to start the game.

With the Eagles facing fourth-and-one on their initial possession, quarterback Hunter Herring raced 51 yards to open the scoring. Samuel Harrell’s extra point put the Eagles up 7-0 less than three minutes in.

Sacred Heart’s best scoring opportunity came on its next series. Ethan Karonika’s 33-yard pass to Spencer Darbonne helped the Trojans advance to the OCS 3. Will Fitzhugh then intercepted a third-and-goal pass in the end zone for a touchback.

Seven plays later, Herring sealed an 80-yard drive with an eight-yard run as the Eagles opened up a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter. Dillon Dougan’s 25-yard run was the big play of the possession.

OCS had the game well in hand by intermission.

Herring fired touchdown passes of 50 yards to Landon Graves and 25 yards to Thomas Culp, Will Fitzhugh ran for a seven-yard score, and Wiley caught Herring’s third touchdown pass of the quarter from 47 yards out to make it 41-0.

Van David Matherne scored on a two-yard run in the third quarter.

Returning from an injury, Matherne saw his first action since the Oak Grove game in Week 7.

“It was good to have Van David back,” coach Fitzhugh said. “He had a touchdown run, and looked good. We’re glad to have him back.”

While Matherne returned, right tackle Garrett Folds dressed but did not play. Folds, who came out after the first series vs. Delta Charter in Week 10, is listed as probable for Friday night’s quarterfinal game against No. 4 Calvary Baptist. Casey Cobb slid into Fold’s right tackle slot, with Avery Pilgreen drawing the start at left guard. The remaining three spots on the offensive line stayed the same with Grant Mashaw at left tackle, Andy Weatherford at center and James David Miller at right guard.

“We actually started four sophomores on the offensive line (Mashaw was the lone exception), and they played solid,” coach Fitzhugh said.

In for Herring at quarterback, Graves closed out the scoring with a 38-yard scamper in the final frame.

Averaging 11.3 yards per offensive play, the Eagles churned out 417 yards of total offense (235 rushing, 182 passing).

Involved in five touchdowns, Herring rushed for 78 yards and two scores on just three carries, and completed 10-of-15 passes for 171 yards and three TDs.

Defensively, the Eagles intercepted four passes for the second straight week. Will Fitzhugh had two picks, with one each by Graves and Culp.

Led by Aidan Ham (5 tackles, 1 tackle for loss), 18 different Eagles contributed to the tackle chart.

OCS, the No. 5 seed, travels to Shreveport Friday night for a quarterfinal encounter with Calvary Baptist (11-0). 


By the Numbers

SH …………………………………. OCS

10 ……..……. First downs …….….. 19

16-21 ……… Rushes-yards …….. 19-235

111 …….…… Yards passing …….. 182

21-10-4 …… Passes (A-C-I) …….. 18-13-1

2-25 ……….. Punts-avg. …..………. 0

1-0 …….…… Fumbles-lost ….…….. 0-0

3-25 ………. Penalties-yards …….. 3-25

Sacred Heart ………….0    0  0  0—0

Ouachita Christian … 14  27  6  7—54


OC—Hunter Herring 51-run (Samuel Harrell kick), 9:03

OC—Herring 8-run (Harrell kick), 1:02


OC—Landon Graves 50-pass from Herring (Harrell kick), 10:01

OC—Thomas Culp 25-pass from Herring (kick failed), 8:58

OC—Will Fitzhugh 7-run (Harrell kick), 6:20

OC—Tristan Wiley 47-pass from Herring, 1:03


OC—Van David Matherne 2-run (kick failed), 0:13


OC—Graves 38-run (Harrell kick), 3:20


RUSHING—Ouachita Christian: Herring 3-78-2, Dillon Dougan 8-66, Fitzhugh 4-43-1, Graves 2-42-1.

PASSING (A-C-I-Yds-TD)—Sacred Heart: Ethan Karonika 21-10-4-111-0. Ouachita Christian: Herring 15-10-1-171-3, Graves 3-3-0-11-0.

RECEIVING—Sacred Heart: Peyton Feucht 4-62, Noah Soileau 2-26. Ouachita Christian: Fitzhugh 3-21, Wiley 2-54-1, Culp 2-34-1, John Daniel Thomas 2-19.


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