Playing in front of the home crowd one last time, La Marque’s seniors helped the Cougars close out the regular season on a high note.
Three of La Marque’s touchdowns came from its senior class during Friday’s 27-6 win over Houston Kashmere, giving the Coogs a 3-7 regular season record and a 3-2 mark in District 10-4A-II that allows La Marque to advance to the playoffs for a ninth straight season.
“These kids deserve to be in the playoffs,” said Cougars coach Shone Evans, whose team will be in bi-district action next week at a time and place to be determined. “Most of all, I’m proud of these seniors. They stayed together, been leaders and have done everything I asked them to do. I’m happy they’ll be in the playoffs.”
High winds and a soggy field took away any thoughts of passing frequently for the Cougars, as they relied on their ground game and a defense that forced three turnovers to shut down the Rams, who finished the season 1-9 overall and 1-4 in district.
La Marque got all the scoring it needed in the first half. Senior running back Perry Preston’s 8-yard touchdown run with 5:56 to go in the first quarter put the Cougars up 7-0 before sophomore Da’Marcus Nelson powered his way into the end zone on a 5-yard run with 3:43 left before intermission.
Brandon Jones’ interception set the stage for a scoring drive that was capped off when senior running back Norvan Saldana plowed through the Kashmere defense for a 7-yard touchdown scamper that gave La Marque a 20-0 halftime lead.
Held to only 113 total yards, the Rams managed to get on the scoreboard when Damontae Boyd caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Christopher Nathan with 10:51 left in the contest, but the Cougars defense made up for it when senior linebacker Malik Holmes recovered a fumble in the end zone with 1:52 remaining to close out the scoring.
“We’ve got to work on some things,” said Evans, whose offense managed all 220 of its yards on the ground. “It’s been a long journey, but we’ve come a long way from where we were when the season started.”