Abbeville’s Kente Charles (3) and Braeden Williams (23) celebrate after Braeden scores a touchdown.
Abbeville free safety Josiah Chambers wraps his arms around a West St. Mary player for a tackle.
Abbeville's Deion Williams (5, with helmet off) had a busy game. He ran for 127 yards and scored three touchdowns for AHS.
Abbeville runs past West St.Mary
BALDWIN - The Abbeville Wildcats managed to hang on and beat the West St. Mary Wolves 39-30 in the season-opener for both teams on Thursday.
The Wildcats never trailed, but they also never had a comfortable lead because West St. Mary quarterback Taylon Druilhet kept his team in the game.
Druilhet threw for an impressive 283 yards en route to the loss.
Abbeville head coach Kevin Kern was happy with the win but knows his team can play better.
“It was a good win, but I know we can play better than we did,” said Kern. “We played sloppy at times, and still have things to work on, but I will take the win.”
The two teams ran different styles of offense. The Wolves threw the football, while the Wildcats (1-0) ran the football.
West St. Mary’s quarterback threw the football 35 times, and Abbeville’s running backs ran the football 56 times.
Abbeville’s new triple-option offense did what it had to do. Seven different Wildcats carried the pigskin with Deion Williams leading the way with 29 carries for 127 yards, and he scored three times.
“He is our horse, our go-to guy,” said Kern.
Abbeville scored on its opening series, which was set up by AHS linebacker Chad Celestine’s interception at midfield.
The Wildcats marched 50 yards downfield and senior running back Braeden Williams scored from the four-yard line. The kick was blocked, and Abbeville led 6-0.
Abbeville scored again on its next possession. The Wildcats went 70 yards on the ground. Braeden Williams darted six yards around the right side for a six-yard TD run. He scored the two-point conversion, and it looked like Abbeville was on its way to a blowout win.
By halftime, West St. Mary, with its passing game, crawled back into the game, down 14-12.
Druilhet threw for 143 yards at halftime for West St. Mary. Abbeville, on the other hand, rushed for 105 yards. Deion had only 33 yards on eight carries in the first half. He rushed for close to 100 yards in the second half. His longest run of the second half was for 28 yards.
Abbeville took its opening second-half possession and marched 49 yards for another score. On third down, Tavion Menard, who sat out the first half, took his first carry of the game and ran 19 yards for a first down. He finished the game with 85 yards, all gained in the second half.
Deion carried the football the next three times for 26 yards and scored from the 6. At the 8:56 mark in the third quarter, Abbeville led 20-12.
West St. Mary did not fall apart. It came right back and scored. Abbeville hung on to a 20-18 lead.
The Wildcats’ offense answered when they needed. They marched 75 yards and scored again. They had two big runs on the scoring drive. Braeden Williams darted 13 yards and quarterback Jaidyn O’Brien had an 18-yard run.
In the wishbone set, Deion had his longest run, 28 yards, of the night, for a touchdown. Jeremi Vilchis nailed the extra point and gave AHS a cushion 27-18 lead.
Abbeville extended the lead to 33-18 on Deion’s 12-yard TD run with only 6:47 to play in the game.
The Wildcats iced the game on a big run by Tavion Menard, who scooted 45 yards down the right sideline for a touchdown with 2:19 to play in the game.
O’Brien was 0-4 passing, but he ran for 31 yards on 11 carries.
Braeden Williams had six carries for 30 yards.
Abbeville is home Friday night against Church Point.