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Bearcats run wild over Tigers in regional game

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The Basile Bearcats race out onto the field poised and ready to take on the LaSalle Tigers in a LHSAA regional playoff game Friday night, in which the Bearcats defeated the Tigers 38-13.

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Senior Basile running back Kendrick Ceasar had an amazing game Friday, rushing for 321 yards on 18 carries and five TD’s.

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Senior Bearcat running back Gabe Fontenot gave some needed carries in Friday night’s win, rushing for 96 yards on 17 attempts.

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The Bearcat defense was its usual brick wall Friday night against the LaSalle Tigers, allowing only 13 points.

BY: TRACEY
JAGNEAUX
Sports Editor

What is the formula for a regional playoff win? If you ask the Basile Bearcats, they would tell you to dominate the game on the ground and play bend-but-don’t-break defense. The Bearcats did both Friday night, as they rolled to a 38-13 win over the LaSalle Tigers. Basile had 422 yards of rushing and came up with two big defensive plays backed up against their goal line to stop LaSalle drives. The win propels the Bearcats to the quarterfinals for the third year in a row.
“This was a good win for us,” said Basile Head Football Coach Kevin Bertrand. “We really ran the football well tonight, especially when we went to an unbalanced set. It gave us an advantage and allowed Kendrick to do what he does best. Our defense kept everything in front of us and did not give up the big play to them. This win was a total team effort.”
Indeed Kendrick Ceasar did what he does best. The senior running back carried the ball 18 times for 321 yards and five touchdowns. Ceasar even threw a pass for 14 yards and a first down. On top of that, Ceasar was the leading receiver, catching two passes for 14 yards.
The Tigers received the opening kickoff and brought it to their 30 yard line. LaSalle picked up a first down on a 14-yard pass from Lucas Parham to Kenneth Anding. However, the Tigers were forced to punt the football as the Bearcat defense halted the initial drive by LaSalle.
Basile took over possession at their 34 yard line. The Bearcats ran five plays, picking up a first down and entering into Tiger territory. A pass interference penalty on Basile killed the Bearcat drive and they were forced to punt.
The Tigers took possession on their 17 yard line after the Bearcat punt. A 12-play, 66-yard drive would bring up fourth and two at the Basile 17 yard line for LaSalle. On the next play, a tipped pass fell into the hands of Jared Bell for the interception.
Basile took over at their 14 yard line. Ceasar carried for one yard on the first Bearcat offensive play after the interception. On the very next play, Ceasar took the toss sweep over the left side and sprinted 85 yards to pay dirt. Mark Ledoux added the extra point and with 4.2 seconds left in the first quarter, Basile held the early 7-0 lead.
LaSalle responded in the second quarter. After a lengthy drive, the Tigers faced a fourth and 14 at their 49 yard line. On the attempted punt, the Bearcats were flagged for roughing the punter, giving LaSalle an automatic first down and extending the Tiger drive.
LaSalle continued the drive down to the Basile five yard line. On first and goal, Anding took the direct snap over left tackle and slid in for the touchdown. Juliano Maluf tacked on the extra point and with 6:28 left in the half the score was tied 7-7.
It did not take the Bearcats long to retake the lead. The ensuing LaSalle kickoff was returned to the Bearcat 35 yard line. The first play from scrimmage, Ceasar received the toss and exploded down the left sideline for the 65-yard touchdown run. Ledoux split the uprights on the extra point and with 6:15 left in the second quarter, Basile now led 14-7.
The Bearcats were not done with the first-half scoring. A vicious hit on a Tiger receiver after the catch caused a fumble and Gabe Fontenot jumped on the football at the Basile 34 yard line. A personal foul penalty against the Bearcats after the recovery brought the ball back to the Basile 19 yard line.
Six plays later, the Bearcats had the ball at third and goal from the Tiger four yard line. Ceasar took the Ivory handoff and slid his way into the end zone for his third score of the night with 41.7 seconds left before half. Ledoux was true on the try after touchdown and the Bearcats took the 21-7 lead into halftime.
Basile came out in the third quarter and continued to add to their 14-point lead. A drive deep into LaSalle territory stalled and, facing fourth down, the Bearcats called on Ledoux to try a 26-yard field goal. Ledoux’s attempt sailed right through the uprights and Basile now led 24-7 with 5:48 to go in the third stanza.
It was not long before the Bearcats would extend their lead once again. Another drive by the offense brought the ball to the Tiger 32 yard line. Fontenot picked up 14 yards on the next play to get the first down. Ceasar then gathered the handoff from Ivory and burst his way for a 19-yard touchdown run through the middle of the LaSalle defense. With the Ledoux extra point, Basile now led 31-7 with 4:05 left in the third quarter.
The Bearcats added one more score in the fourth quarter. As the saying goes; if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. With that in mind, the Basile coaching staff called Ceasar’s number once more. This time, Ceasar strode into the end zone from 46 yards out, scoring his fifth and final touchdown on the night. Ledoux added the extra point and with 4:51 seconds left in the game, the Bearcats now led 38-7.
LaSalle put together one last drive toward the end of the game. The drive would come against mostly backup Bearcat players, as the Basile coaching staff gave all of their squad a chance to play. With 14.9 seconds left in the game, Parham hit Anding for a five-yard touchdown pass, the second time the two would hook up in the game. The extra point was no good, ending the game with the score 38-13.
The Bearcats will now travel to Kentwood to take on the number four seeded Kangaroos. To say that Basile and Kentwood are familiar with each other is an understatement. The Kangaroos have defeated the Bearcats in the quarterfinals the last two years. According to Bertrand, having to play Kentwood for the third year in a row is not going to change the Bearcats’ preparation.
“We know that Kentwood is a good football team,” stated Bertrand. “But we think we have a pretty good football team too. Our plan this week is to prepare the way we have all year long. We will practice all four days and get ready to travel on Friday. I can say this; we are going to Kentwood to give them our best shot and let the chips fall where they may.”

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