Friday night, the Natchitoches Central High School football team not only enjoyed cruising to a dominant victory in the season opener, but also, the Chiefs celebrated a triumph for the first time since October 2019.
After sitting out last week’s jamboree due to COVID quarantine issues, and having limitations in preparations during game week, the Chiefs struggled in the first quarter but took control afterward against Woodlawn.
Senior running back Caylin Demars scored three touchdowns and rushed for 148 yards on 16 carries. Senior defensive back and returner Braylin Demars had a 28-yard punt return to set up NCHS’s second TD, and had a 45-yard punt return TD erased by a penalty. Senior safety Justin Aaron picked off two passes, returning the second one 50 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the final quarter.
The Chiefs defense was dominant in notching a shutout.
FINAL SCORE: NCHS 34, Woodlawn 0
GAME SITE: Shreveport (Independence Stadium)
RECORDS: NCHS Chiefs (1-0), Woodlawn Knights (0-1)
NCHS SCORING PLAYS:
Sam Maggio 32-yard field goal, 9:48 2nd quarter, 3-0
Caylin Demars 10-yard run. 3:53 2nd quarter, Maggio kick, 10-0
Demars 8-yard run, Maggio kick, 2:23 2nd quarter, 17-0
Demars 6-yard run, Maggio kick, 8:37 3rd quarter, 24-0
Maggio 25-yard field goal, 1:36 3rd quarter, 27-0
Justin Aaron 50-yard interception return, Maggio kick,11:43 4th quarter, 34-0
KEY STATS: The NCHS defense forced four turnovers, two fumbles and two interceptions, both by Justin Aaron, one returned 50 yards for a TD. In the shutout win, the Chiefs held the Knights to 51 yards rushing, 55 pashing, a total of 106 yards. Leading tacklers for the Chiefs were Logan Saucier with 11, Fred Jackson Jr. with 10, and each had a fumble recovery. Justin Aaron had 10 tackles along with his two interceptions. The Chief defense allowed Woodlawn to convert only 2 of 13 attempts on third down.
NOTES: Woodlawn had the game’s first scoring chance late in the opening quarter but the Chief defense forced a fumble on a first-and-goal situation with the Knights threatening on the 7-yard-line.NCHS drove 83 yards for Sam Maggio’s first field goal, starting a 17-point second quarter to open up the game. The Chiefs defense pitched a shutout for the first time since October 11, 2019 vs Southwood. It was the first NCHS win since the seventh game of the 2019 season, snapping an 11-game skid, and it was the first victory in coach James Wilkerson’s two seasons rebuilding the program.
NCHS COACH JAMES WILKERSON’S COMMENTS: “I’m very happy for our players, coaches, and fans. This was a much needed victory for our team. We did some good things in every aspect of the game. We do have a lot to improve on as we move on to Peabody.”
NEXT UP: NCHS will host Peabody (0-1) on Thursday night in Turpin Stadium. The Chiefs will have a patriotic night as this upcoming weekend will be the 20th anniversary of 9-1. Fans are asked to wear red, white and blue.