For the first time this season, the Cougars looked dominant.
Running back Perry Preston rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown while the defense held Madison to just 145 yards in a 35-6 rout at Etheredge Stadium on Friday night, the second straight win for La Marque (2-3) after an 0-3 start.
“If I were in our district (12-3A-I) and saw us (Friday), I’d be worried,” said Cougars head coach Mike Jackson. “We’ve found our stride.”
The Cougars led just 7-0 at the half following Preston’s bruising 4-yard run with 6 seconds left in the first half, but set the tone for the rest of the night on a nine-play, 65-yard drive that saw Preston carry the ball six times for 53 yards before quarterback Myles Launius caught the Marlins (3-2) napping and ran for a 9-yard touchdown to extend the margin to 14-0 with 8:28 left in the third quarter.
Launius capped off the next drive with a 1-yard touchdown run and followed with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Joey White on La Marque’s ensuing drive to swell the margin to 28-0 with 8:53 remaining.
The Coogs’ offensive line wore down the Marlins defense, which was on the field for all but 12 plays in the second half.
“We made adjustments at the half and started to do what we’re capable of doing,” said La Marque offensive lineman James Lofton.
Defensively, the Cougars smothered the high-powered Madison offense and added La Marque’s final touchdown of the night when Travarious Saldana picked up a fumble from Marlins running back Charlie Jones and sprinted 24 yards into the end zone with 8:05 left.
Jones atoned for his miscue by accounting for Madison’s only score when he scampered untouched for a 19-yard run that closed out the scoring with 5:56 remaining.
La Marque honored longtime fan Louis Perrin Sr. before the start of the game. Perrin, who had missed just 10 games over the past four-plus decades, passed away at the age of 80 in February.
“This was the type of game Mr. Perrin would have loved,” said Jackson. “He was always passionate about defense and I know he would have been thrilled with the way they were able to dominate.”
District 12-3A-I play begins this Friday as the Cougars — who have played each of the first five games at home — hit the road for the first time when they meet 4-1 Hardin at 7:30 p.m.
“We have to keep our momentum and composure,” said Jackson. “It’s going to be an uphill battle against a good team, but I believe in our kids. I know they’ll be ready.”