MERRYVILLE – On its first drive of the game, East Beauregard was moving the ball down the field in 4-yard increments at will. Then the power went out.
After a 40-minute delay without lights and a scoreboard, the Trojans were unable to punch it in the end zone. However, the defense held firm and the offense plugged away for the 16-0 win at Keener Cagle Stadium.
"It was battle, and we knew it was going to be," East Beauregard head coach Gordy Glaser said. "Merryville always plays well against us. It's a parish rival. I'm proud of our kids. We didn't play our best game, and I'm glad Merryville exposed some of the things we haven't been doing well because we're going to grow from it. It's great to get a win and we're going to learn and grow from it."
East Beauregard (1-1) racked up 309 yards on 50 carries, including 103 yards from fullback Devin Baumery.
"Our coaches do a great job of seeing what we can do," Glaser said. "Sometimes they guess right and sometimes they guess wrong. I'm just proud that our kids believe in what we're doing. Our staff coaches the best kids in the world. In that situation, where are linemen are blocking and the defense centers on one guy, we go to another."
Merryville (1-3) was held to 225 total yards with 152 on the ground and 73 yards passing from quarterback Jarrett Allen.
"He's getting better every week," Merryville head coach Randy Jones said of Allen. "We're hoping as we get better throughout the year, he'll get even better."
The Trojans got on the board at the 8:03 mark in the second quarter with a 7-yard run from Konner Seal and added the two-point conversion with a pass from Noah Gill to Austin Slaydon.
With 28 seconds remaining in the half, Baumery plowed in for the 1-yard touchdown, and East Buchanan tacked on the two-point conversion with a run by Zach Doucet.
Doucet rushed for 52 yards on 11 carries, and Seal ran for 39 yards on five carries.
"We dominated the clock but the bottom line is that you need to put the ball in the end zone," Glaser said. "We got to the end zone twice and didn't score. They did a good job, but we can't blow assignments."
To begin the fourth quarter, Stefon Williams picked off a pass from Gill, and running back Desmond McCain check into the game for the first time. McCain sat out last week with an ankle injury and his playing time against East Beauregard was up in the air coming into the game.
Despite the nagging injury, McCain picked up 70 yards on eight carries in the lone series he played in.
"I was glad to see Desmond come back," Jones said. "His ankle still isn't 100 percent, and I didn't want to play him. Our other tailback went down and we needed him. He stepped up and did a good job. With him, you can see, we're much better."
The Panthers kept the Trojans out of the end zone in the second half and threatened to score on their fourth-quarter possession before penalties pushed them back.
"We grew up a little bit in the second half," Jones said. "What I've found here, in a year-and-a-half, is that these kids just need to learn how to win. We're slowly but surely getting there. It's a tough hill to climb, but they're getting there.”