Bria Turner| Special to The Advocate
courtesy of theadvocate.com
The Pointe Coupee connection of Livonia’s Stephen Guidry and Jonas Guichet of Catholic lit up the scoreboard and led the Rough Riders to a 35-23 win over the Black Knights in the U.S. Army Red Stick Bowl on Sunday.
A large and enthusiastic crowd at BREC’s Olympia Stadium took advantage of crisp football weather to cheer on the top seniors in the greater Baton Rouge area in the 13th annual renewal of this all-star game.
The Rough Riders’ most valuable skill player, Guidry had only four catches, but they all went for touchdowns. Guichet, who had a rough start with two incompletions, an interception and an intentional grounding call, came back to throw for 177 yards on 10-for-16 passing, 130 of those yards going to Guidry.
“(Guidry) is easily the best receiver I’ve thrown to,” Guichet said. “We go to school about 10 miles apart.
“This was a lot different from 1A football. It’s all about how much faster, how much bigger everybody is. It’s some of the best players in the state … a lot of talent.”
Guidry was the outstanding skill player for the Rough Riders, and the outstanding interior player was Deon Addison of Baker.
The pair was not involved in the Rough Riders’ first touchdown of the day, which came on a 47-yard halfback pass from Jyron Walker, who played quarterback at the Dunham School, to Zachary’s Chris Carrier on their first play from scrimmage. St. Michael’s Ashton Fletcher kicked the PAT, and the Rough Riders were up 7-0 just over a minute into the game.
It took the Black Knights one play to answer when Plaquemine’s D’Morea Wicks connected with tight end Kade Waguespack for a 58-yard touchdown pass. Waguespack, who was named the outstanding interior player for the Knights and plans to play for the Air Force Academy, said the offense was the same one he had run at East Ascension.
“I knew that sometimes the pattern I ran on that play comes open,” he said
Catholic High’s Jack Gonsoulin, an LSU commitment, used an old-fashioned drop kick for the apparent PAT, but it was waved off for the ball not touching the ground.
Gonsoulin later kicked a 25-yard field goal and two extra points, as well as putting five kickoffs into the end zone.
Wicks ran 40 yards for the Black Knights’ second touchdown to pull them within 21-16 midway through the second quarter, but Guidry snagged a 42-yard pass for a 28-16 halftime lead.
The final score for the Rough Riders came in the third quarter when Guidry came up with a deflected pass in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown.
“I was running my route when I saw the ball hit his fingers. I thought I might have a chance to make a catch, so I just planted my foot and made it,” he said.
The Black Knights cut the lead to 35-23 after Capitol’s Kelvin Robinson scored on a 3-yard run, and they were driving again midway through the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Charles Brooks led his team on a 13-play drive its own 15 to the Rough Riders’ 6 with 7:40 to play when a hard hit on third down put Brooks out of the game and dislodged the ball. The Knights recovered, but after a penalty set them back 15 yards, couldn’t find the end zone on fourth down.
“(Brooks) is fine,” Black Knights coach Brett Beard said after the game. “He was just shook up. He knows that’s part of the game.
“It’s fun to be able to come to work and have studs to line up everywhere and put them in position to make plays and watch them represent their high school one last time,” Beard said. “A lot of fun.”
It was a bittersweet day for Black Knights Kaleb Battle and Jordan Chatman. They were the last players to wear Redemptorist helmets as their school will be closing its doors permanently in June.
Battle was the outstanding skill player for the Black Knights.
“We were definitely the underdogs,” Rough Riders coach Paul Varnado said. “I challenged them before the game and some guys stepped up.
“I told them they had one more high school football game, to leave a mark, make an impression, and have fun.”