St. Mary’s rocks Hanson Memorial in playoff shutout, logs first postseason win since 2017

St. Mary’s receiver Ethan Busby accounting for 223 receiving yards and three touchdowns as he powered the Tigers’ offense in a 45-0 second-round playoff win Friday against Hanson Memorial at NSU’s Turpin Stadium.


NATCHITOCHES – The defense bent — a little, but never broke.

That gave the No. 5 St. Mary’s offense time to methodically dismantle No. 12 Hanson Memorial as the Tigers were triumphant, 45-0, in Friday’s second round of the LHSAA’s Division IV Select playoffs.

Coming up with brawny stands on multiple fourth-down situations as Hanson drove deep into St. Mary’s territory along with a key interception by Tiger defensive back Mixon Bankston to end any thought of a momentum change were key factors in the shutout victory.

“Our defense was unbelievable,” St. Mary’s coach Aaron York said. “They gave us a shutout against that bunch, and that bunch is really good. Hanson Memorial ran the ball extremely well, but we made plays when we needed to on defense. I thought we played very physical, and that got us through the game.”

Senior linebacker Logan Watson said a relatively young St. Mary’s defense built trust in each other, starting back in the summer.

“Our defense is actually young overall, but we work together and trust each other,” senior linebacker Logan Watson said of the stand against the visitors. “We have been building that trust since the summer, and we just keep rolling from there. People just keep doubting us, but we want to keep proving them wrong.”

The St. Mary’s defensive unit held Hanson Memorial to just 164 yards of total offense.

The defensive stands gave way to a deluge of St. Mary’s offensive success after SMS was able to muster a 3-0 lead via a Payne Williams 36-yard yard field goal on the first possession.

A 30-yard touchdown run by senior running back Joe Metoyer followed by a pair of aerial connections of 84 yards and 31 yards between quarterback Adam Parker and receiver Ethan Busby pushed that lead to 24-0 at the half. Busby, who had a career night, collected five receptions for 223 yards and three scores.

“We have been waiting for this for the last two years,” Busby said of his teams advance to the quarterfinals. “It’s just great to get our first playoff win in the last few years.”

The playoff win was St. Mary’s first since 2017 when the Tigers pushed to the quarterfinals.

Busby was quick to give gratitude to his quarterback and the offensive line for the production he recorded.

“My quarterback has been my best friend my whole life,” Busby said. “We just have that connection, and we trust one another. The O Line has stepped up the last few weeks and protected him, giving Adam the opportunity to get us the ball. We just have been able to make plays from there.”

Parker added a 4-yard scoring run before he connected again with Busby on a 68-yard strike to push the lead to 38-0 after three quarters. Metoyer capped off the scoring in the fourth quarter with an additional 8-yard scamper to the endzone.

Parker was 11-19 through the air for 296 yards and three touchdowns while Metoyer recorded 97 rushing yards and two scores on 14 attempts. Drake Griffin added 61 yards on the ground on five attempts.

The Tigers racked up 475 yards of total offense against Hanson. Griffin led the Tiger defenders with 8.5 tackles while collecting two sacks. Watson and teammate Braylon Normand added six stops each on the night.

Hanson Memorial coach Ryan Stoute was extremely complimentary of St. Mary’s following the defeat.

“We had high hopes,” Stoute said. “I knew we would have to play well, and we just didn’t. St. Mary’s is a very good ball club and what they do, they do very well. They extend plays. We did the best we could to prepare for that but it’s just hard when some plays go for 10 seconds or more. Our kids competed, and it was a good clean game. They have a quality program and that number 4 (Griffin) is just outstanding.”

St. Mary’s moves to the quarterfinal round and will travel to No. 4 St. Martin’s Episcopal the Friday after Thanksgiving.

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