Acadiana Defeats Alexandria in a Thriller to Win State Title
Once again, the Acadiana Wreckin' Rams are Class 5A state champions.
Acadiana won its second-straight state championship on Wednesday night, defeating the Alexandria High Trojans, 35-34, in the Class 5A title game at Turpin Stadium in Natchitoches.
As they've done this year, and throughout the years, Acadiana used a lethal rushing attack, while making a big defensive play at the end, to help lift them to the heart-stopping victory.
For the Wreckin' Rams, the state championship is their sixth in school history, as well as the second for head coach Matt McCullough in his three years at the helm, who guided Acadiana to an 8-3 title win over Destrehan in 2019.
Acadiana joins Carencro (Class 4A), St. Thomas More (Division II), and Lafayette Christian Academy (Division III) as teams from the Acadiana area that have captured state championships this year.
Acadiana got on the scoreboard first, on the initial drive of the game, when Tyvin Zeno scored on a 1-yard touchdown plunge at the 6:22 mark of the first quarter, capping off an 80-yard drive, which gave them a quick 6-0 lead.
The Wreckin' Rams turned over the ball twice over their next two possession and the second one was costly, as Alexandria recovered a fumble deep in Ram territory and turned it into a touchdown when Trayv'on Culbert recovered a fumble by his teammate, Jarvis Newton at the 1-yard line, and then went into the end zone, which gave the Trojans a 7-6 lead at the 7:08 mark of the second quarter.
Acadiana regained the lead at the 4:00 mark of the second quarter on Zeno's second touchdown of the contest, this one on a 5-yard run, wrapping up a 7-play, 69-yard drive.
Following a two-point conversion run by Jerimiah Brown, the Wreckin' Rams held a 14-7 advantage.
The Wreckin' Rams scored the final points of the first half with only :26 left in the second quarter when Brown connected with Kevan Williams on a 4-yard touchdown pass, wrapping up an 82-yard drive, to make it 21-7, an advantage they would take with them into the halftime break.
Acadiana outgained Alexandria, in terms of total yards in the first half, 194-97, including 150 yards on the ground, with Zeno leading the way, carrying the football 14 times for 82 yards and two touchdowns over the first 24 minutes of play.
Alexandria scored the first points of the second half when Judd Barton hit Abu Kamara with a 25-yard touchdown pass, ending a 7-play, 63-yard drive, which cut the deficit to 21-14 at the 6:20 mark of the third quarter.
Acadiana answered right back on its very next possession when Omari Wiggins became the third different Wreckin' Ram to score on a touchdown, this one courtesy of a 2-yard run, capping off a 9-play, 57-yard drive, which extended the lead to 28-14 at the 1:20 mark of the third quarter.
The Trojans weren't done, however. Newton scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 7:11 to go, completing a 6-play, 42-yard drive, to make it 28-21.
Acadiana fumbled the football for the third time on the evening, giving Alexandria the football at the Wreckin' Ram 49-yard line with 4:17 remaining, but the Wreckin' Ram defense came up big, forcing a punt on only three plays.
The Wreckin' Rams seemed to have put the game away with 3:10 remaining, when Wiggins scored on a 35-yard touchdown, putting the exclamation mark on a 5-play, 49-yard drive, to make the score 35-21.
But again, the Trojans weren't done, as Newton hit Graham Vaughn with an incredible touchdown pass on a fourth down play that bounced off the hands of two Acadiana defenders, which cut the Acadiana lead to 35-28 with 1:45 remaining.
To make things even interesting, Alexandria recovered the ensuing onside kick giving them a chance to tie/win the game.
Alexandria would score on a 16-yard touchdown pass by Barton to T.J. Johnson make it 35-34.
The Trojans elected to go for two points, and after an illegal formation call on ASH negated what could have been the go-ahead points, Laterrance Welch intercepted the next pass to seal the 35-34 Acadiana triumph and another state championship.
Acadiana rushed for 288 yards as a team, with Brown rising for 103 yards and a touchdown, while Zeno rushed for 102 yards and tow touchdowns.
With the victory, Acadiana ended its season with an overall record of 11-1, while Alexandria, who was playing in its first-ever state title game, fell to 7-1.
Congratulations to Acadiana on bringing home another state title!