The Kaplan players hold the trophy for a team picture after beating Abbeville.
Peter Russo Trophy staying in Kaplan
The Peter Russo Memorial Trophy still means a lot to the Kaplan Pirates, despite it being in Kaplan since 2005.
The trophy is given to the winner of the Abbeville/Kaplan game. For the last 14 years, it has been in the Kaplan High trophy case by the gym where everyone can view it. When it first arrived in 2005, the current Kaplan seniors were only four years old and Facebook was only a baby.
The Pirates cruised to a 41-8 win over the Wildcats on Friday. When the clocked ticked down to zero, the Pirate players began looking for the Peter Russo Memorial Trophy. When they found it, it was in the hands of Kaplan assistant principal Patricia Thibodeaux.
Mrs. Thibodeaux handed the trophy off to senior Nathan Sistrunk, and then the players began chanting “Russo Trophy, Russo Trophy, Russo Trophy.”
For the seniors, the win meant that the trophy was at Kaplan all of the four years that they were in school.
Senior quarterback Romin Bradley said, playing for the trophy is what the Abbeville/Kaplan rivalry is all about.
“Yes sir, winning the trophy still means something,” said Bradley. “It is always special to beat Abbeville. They are right next door. It is always an honor to play them.”
Another senior who was thrilled with keeping the trophy in Kaplan was senior defensive lineman Gabe Broussard.
“Winning the trophy has been a tradition that we all love,” said Broussard. “Playing our rivalry Abbeville is a great. We did not want to be the team to lose to Abbeville. To take care of the trophy is a great responsibility.”
By halftime, the Pirates were beginning to feel that the Peter Russo Memorial Trophy may be staying in Kaplan.
After a scoreless first quarter, Kaplan led 12-0 at halftime.
The Pirates scored their second touchdown in the first half when Bradley threw a 15-yard TD pass to wing back Ethan Weygand with a minute left in the first half.
The Pirates put the game away on their opening drive in the second half.
Running back Nathan Sistrunk had a 68-yard run on the drive. On the fourth and goal of the 1-yard line, Drake LeJeune scored, and KHS led 20-0.
Sistrunk led Kaplan in rushing with 131-yards on 11 carries. LeJeune had 61-yards on 14 carries and a touchdown.
Hayes Abshire made his return to the backfield after being out for medical reasons. He had 10 carries for 32-yards and a touchdown.
The Pirates had success throwing the football. Romin and Mason Frick combined to complete 4 out of 7 passes for 56-yards and one touchdown.
The Pirates went on to score 22 points in the third period locking up the win and at least a share of the District 6-3A title. The Pirates share the district title with St. Martinville for now, and possibly Erath (2-1 in district) if EHS beats Abbeville on Friday.
The Pirates have now won either an outright district title or a share of the district title, five years in a row.
The Wildcats (1-8) scored their only touchdown with a minute left in the game.
Quarterback Brendan Shelvin connected with Garrick Scott on a 17-yard TD pass.
Scott had four catches for 35-yards on the night.