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High school football: Benton answers challenge from Breaux Bridge, pulls away late for first-round victory

Benton coach Reynolds Moore knew that Breaux Bridge wasn’t your typical No. 30 seed. So he wasn’t altogether surprised that his undefeated team was in a close game going into the fourth quarter Friday night at Tiger Stadium

Moore’s Tigers led the Tigers from the Lafayette-area 28-21. Then third-seeded Benton blew the game open, scoring four straight touchdowns en route to a 56-28 victory in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Benton (11-0) will host No. 14 Cecilia (7-4) in the second round next Friday. The Bulldogs defeated No. 19 DeRidder 41-6 in the first round.

Breaux Bridge closed its season 5-6.

“We said all week they weren’t a typical 30 seed,” Moore said. “Lot better than what you’d expect. If you’re a 3 seed playing a 30 you expect a little easier game. They played in a real tough district and they played some people close and they’re physical and that’s what they were tonight. We kind of felt like that’s what would happen.

“We thought if we hung in there long enough and got some things going we’d be OK and that’s what happened. Finally we were able to get it going. We moved the ball and kind of got the running game going.”

Benton senior quarterback Garrett Hable had a big night. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 268 yards and five TDs. He also rushed eight times for 83 yards, including a 54-yard scramble that set up a touchdown late in the first half.

“He had a great night,” Moore said. “He was very accurate and he ran it well.”

Senior Jermaine Newton also came through for Benton. He gained 129 yards on 16 carries and scored on runs of 46 and 19 yards in the fourth quarter.

Senior Doyle Adams Jr. also came up big, catching four passes for 103 yards, including a 14-yard TD pass that put the Tigers up 14-0 in the second quarter.

Junior Legend Denler had touchdown receptions of 48 and 9 yards in the second quarter. The latter, set up by Hable’s scramble, came with just 8 seconds left in the half and gave Benton a 28-14 lead.

Hable’s first TD pass of 13 yards went to Bubba Osby (five catches, 44 yards) late in the first quarter. It capped a short drive after a shanked punt.

His last TD pass went to Hunter Burrough and covered 23 yards.

Brooks Cram was a perfect 8-for-8 on extra-point kicks.

The defense did its part. Jeremy Hall intercepted two passes in the fourth quarter, returning one 82 yards for a score. Jackson Pharr had some key sacks.

One of Breaux Bridge’s TDs came on a blocked punt. The final one came with just 17 seconds left in the game.

— Russell Hedges, rhedges@bossierpress.com

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