Natchitoches Central 41
Natchitoches Central High School’s spirited fans and resilient football team were a winning pairing Thursday night.
In the home opener for the Chiefs, the crowd’s energy spurred on the home team. NCHS was able to repel a second-quarter rally by visiting Peabody, regaining the lead just before halftime, and took command in the third quarter, thanks in no small part to the enthusiasm shown by the people above the railings in the grandstand, cheering on the young men in maroon jerseys and helmets on the field below.
FINAL SCORE: Natchitoches Central 41 Peabody 14
GAME SITE: Natchitoches (Turpin Stadium)
RECORDS: NCHS Chiefs (2-0), Peabody Warhorses (0-2)
(NC) Caylin Demars 5 run (Sam Maggio kick), 11:19 1st quarter, Chiefs 7-0
(NC) Jason Jackson 44 interception return (Maggio kick), 10:53 1st, Chiefs 14-0
(P) Arthur Lavalais 1 run (run failed), 10:16 2nd, Chiefs 14-6
(P) Carlos Davidson to Patrick Turner 43 pass (Lavalais run), 3:51 2nd, tied 14-14
(NC) B.J. Young 4 run (Maggio kick), 0:32 2nd, Chiefs 21-14
(NC) Chris Howard 10 fumble return (kick failed), 10:29 3rd, Chiefs 27-14
(NC) Young 1 run (Young run), 6:42 3rd, Chiefs 35-14
(NC) Demars 7 run (kick failed), 9:27 4th, Chiefs 41-14
KEY STATS: Chiefs rushed for 215 yards, led by Caylin Demars’ 14-107, 2 touchdowns and B.J. Young’s 9-70, 2 TDs … the NCHS defense scored twice while coming up with three turnovers, including James Jackson’s fumble recovery at the PHS 5 on the game’s first snap … Peabody mounted a 13-play, 81-yard drive to its first score … Defensive standouts for NCHS included Justin Aaron (10 tackles, 2 pass breakups), Fred Jackson (7 tackles, 1 breakup), Chris Howard (6 tackles, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery for a TD, 1 breakup), Logan Saucier (6 tackles, 2 sacks), James Jackson (6 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Calvin Willis (4 tackles, 1 sack, 1 for lost yards, 1 breakup) Braylin Demars and Reggie Boldon (each with 2 breakups), Tredarius Brown (2 sacks).
NOTES: NCHS led 14-0 after three plays from scrimmage, two straight turnovers by Peabody … it’s the first time since 2019 the Chiefs have won two straight games.
COACH JAMES WILKERSON’S COMMENTS: “It was the kind of game we expected. We knew we were going to be in for a fight. They are a good football team with very talented players. I am really proud of our guys for finishing the game strongly. That is a big difference from last year. I thought our defense really stepped it up in the second half. It was a big challenge for them tonight against a Peabody team that scored 30 last week.
“Braylin Demars sparked us with a big special teams play (a 79-yard kickoff return), and Jason Jackson got us going early with a pick-six. Our quarterback, B.J. Young, didn’t have a great first half but really came on strong, and did what a good quarterback should do. He had a short memory, made some big plays with his feet and completed some big passes in crucial moments. Caylin Demars continues to carry us and make big plays. It was an overall team effort. as coaches we really needed to see what we would do if we got in a tight game and tonight I think our boys did a really good job.”
NEXT UP: The Chiefs will host West Ouachita next Friday night in Turpin Stadium.
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