St. Mary’s handles business in season-finale win against Northwood-Lena 

LOOK AT ‘EM GO: Senior lineman Kolton Norsworthy scooped up this turnover and later scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to cap Senior Night festivities as St. Mary’s rolls over Northwood-Lena, 55-14, on Thursday.

BY DWAIN SPILLMAN JR, Journal Sports 

NATCHITOCHES – Taking care of business. St. Mary’s head football coach Aaron York said that must be the primary focus for his Tigers as they now prepare for the 2022 postseason.  

York’s comments came after his crew dispatched Northwood-Lena, 55-14, Thursday night at Turpin Stadium to close out the regular season. 

“We did what we were supposed to do,” York said after concluding his team meeting at midfield. “We took care of business and got out healthy. That was the goal.” 

The Tigers (8-1, 4-0 District 3-1A), sporting their mostly red jerseys against the Gators (2-8, 1-3), jumped on the scoreboard less than two minutes in as Drake Griffin bolted off left tackle for 34 yards.  

Senior quarterback Adam Parker hurled a pair of touchdown passes to Ethan Busby and Mixon Bankston as the Tigers grabbed a commanding 21-0 lead to conclude the first quarter of play.  

Defensive end Kolton Norsworthy brought the St Mary’s faithful to their feet as he grabbed an interception off of the visiting Gator quarterback inside of the Northwood 10-yard line as the second period began. York left Norsworthy in the huddle for the next play, where he found the endzone on a 1-yard run. St. Mary’s took a 42-0 lead into the half. 

Senior running back Joe Metoyer found the endzone twice while Parker and Connor Jordan also recorded touchdowns to round out the scoring. Steady and reliable Tiger place kicker Payne Williams also connected on all seven of his PAT attempts. 

“I think we had a little bit of a letdown after last week’s very high emotion game (winning the district title at Logansport), and we need to get that emotion back,” York said. 

St. Mary’s ran just 24 offensive plays on the evening, posting 254 yards of total offense during a mostly running clock game.  

On the defensive side, Northwood-Lena crossed midfield only during the second half, scoring a pair of touchdowns while Tiger underclassmen were gaining valuable time on the field. Griffin led the charge on defense recording 5.5 tackles with two sacks while Nathan Slaughter, Braylon Norman and Jordan tallied 3.5 tackles each. The Tigers defensive starters have yielded just seven points to opponents during the District 3-1A portion of the season.  

“I think we played hard,” York added. “But we just have to have our best from here on out. It’s all about preparation. We are playing one-game seasons now, and we must have our best Monday through Thursday in preparation going into Friday. From here on out, we have to get that emotion back that we had last week. Now, going into the playoffs, we simply have got to bring it.” 

The Tigers, currently sitting at No. 5 in the Division IV Select power rankings will now await the LHSAA playoff pairings announcement later this weekend.  

St. Mary’s will need to move into a top-four spot to earn a bye in the first week of the playoffs. 

CREDIT: Elizabeth Yopp/St. Mary’s Media Relations