VC cornerback Cody Verret fights off the block of an ED White player before trying to make a tackle. (photo by Mia Bacilla)
E.D. White too much for VC
First-year Vermilion Catholic coach Brady Thomas had a date to fill on his 2017 schedule when he took over the Screaming Eagles’ reins.
His choice of Class 4A member E.D. White shows how strongly Thomas wants his team to be able to compete, a matchup that could pay dividends down the road.
On Friday night, though, his Eagles fell behind 21-0 after one quarter and were no match for the visiting Cardinals, who departed with a 35-7 victory.
“This was the only date not filled when I took over,” Thomas said. “So I started looking around, and found two teams we could play. I chose the better of the two schools, because I wanted the bigger challenge for my team.”
Senior running back Nik Shanklin ran for 175 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries to lead the Cardinals to victory.
Quarterback Brandon Legendre added 79 yards on 12 carries, including a Houdini-like escape for a 23-yard touchdown for the final EDW touchdown of the night, coming on the first drive of the third period.
The Cardinals then substituted liberally, improving to 5-1 on the year.
“We expected we would see good players,” Thomas said. “We knew their quarterback could make plays with his feet, and that their running back ran strong. We had to do the best we could to contain them.
“They have a very sound offense. Those two could play in college. But we will see other good quarterbacks and running backs on our schedule, and we have to be ready for them.”
The Eagles’ own quarterback picture regained a familiar face as J.T. Lege returned to the field after hurting his leg at the beginning of the campaign.
“This was his first game back,” Thomas said. “He took a couple of tough shots on the leg, but bounced right up. We have to get him more comfortable in the pocket, and when we make some throws we have to catch it.”
Younger brother Drew Lege, who enjoyed a spectacular 6-touchdown night last week against Centerville, relieved JT and produced VC’s only score of the night with a picture perfect 32-yard bomb to a streaking Chris Constantine.
“Drew stepped in (during J.T.’s absence) and has done a good job to keep us going,” Thomas said. “
It was a quick 21-0 after one period as Shanklin scored from 9 and 1 yards away and Aaron Arcement tallied from 3 yards out. The visitors then made it 28-0 at halftime over their Class 1A foes with a 5-yard rumble by Shanklin.
The ball-hawking Cardinals defense got its 15th interception of the year as Connor Kliebert’s theft helped set up EDW’s third score of the opening quarter.
Now 4-2 on the year, the Eagles return to district play next week against Gueydan. That’s a better fit, although Thomas will always want his squad to know they can test themselves to play better against top competition.