Drake Lejeune takes a high pitch and runs 22 yards on this play for Kaplan.
Mason Frick (15) goes up for a pass in the end zone but it was off his fingertips.
Kaplan ends four game losing streak
KAPLAN - The Kaplan Pirates ended a four-game losing in front of a homecoming crowd Friday.
The Pirates beat the St. Martinville Tigers 26-15 Friday in Ed Douglas Memorial Stadium.
The win improves Kaplan to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the district.
Kaplan head coach Stephen Lotief said it felt like eight years since the last time Kaplan won a game.
On Friday, his saw his squad play Kaplan football.
“We relaxed and played better,” said Lotief. “We won the line of scrimmage, and we played as good as we can play.”
The Pirates used a team effort to beat the Tigers.
The offense racked up 277 yards of offense behind the running of Drake Lejeune. Lejeune ran for 137 yards on 22 carries, and he scored twice.
His head coach praised his running back.
“He ran hard today. He got the extra yards on his own,” said Lotief. “The offensive line won the battle. This week we fell forward instead of sideways. We played with a little more intensity.”
Lejeune came into the game with 292 yards rushing in six games. He averaged 10 yards a game heading into Friday’s big game. He was excited to end the four-game losing streak.
“It feels fantastic. I hope the win starts a trend,” said Lejeune. “I hope we continue to win and dominate like we did tonight.”
The Pirates’ offense did not score in the first half. The only Kaplan scored occurred when linebacker Andre Gaspard ran an interception back 32 yards for a touchdown.
The Pirates went into halftime down 8-6.
However, Lotief did not go into the locker room. He stayed on the track because his daughter, Erin, made the homecoming court. He had to escort her on the field. He said it could have been a first in his 20-plus years of coaching he did not go into the locker room at halftime.
It did not seem to the bother the Pirates because they opened the third quarter playing Kaplan football.
They took their opening second-half drive and marched 54 yards in 15 plays and came away with six points. On fourth down and goal, Lejeune ran four yards and rolled into the end zone and put his team up 12-8.
Lotief called for his kicker Cooper Guidry to kick an onside kick. He was successful and Kaplan’s Caden Campisi fell on the rolling football at midfield.
Four plays later, running back Ethan Weygand scored from the 30-yard line to give Kaplan an 18-8 lead.
In a matter of two minutes, the Pirates went from being down 8-6 to being ahead 18-8.
The Tigers’ offense woke up and scored quickly to close the Pirates’ lead to 18-15 with only nine minutes left in the game.
However, when the Tigers got the ball again, the Kaplan defense stepped up and made big plays.
On a fourth-down, Kaplan defenders Orlando Roy, Rhen Renfrow, and Ross LaPointe stopped St. Martinville’s quarterback.
Then with the game on the line, Renfrow and Kavan Desormeaux came up big and sacked St. Martinville’s quarterback on fourth down with less than two minutes to play in the game.
“Our defense came to play. They stepped up when they had to. We played as a team a tonight, and that is what it takes to win this district,” said Lotief.
Others who carried the football for Kaplan were Nahan Sistrunk (19-64 yards) and Weygand (6-64).