The Haughton Buccaneers’ outstanding season came to a close Friday night with a 37-6 loss to the John Ehret Patriots in a Class 5A second-round game at Hoss Memtsas Stadium in Harvey.
The No. 13 seed Bucs finished 9-3. The fourth-seeded Patriots (11-1), winners of 11 in a row, will host No. 5 East Ascension in the quarterfinals next week.
It was a season to remember for Haughton. Not predicted to be one of the main contenders for the District 1-5A title before the season, the Bucs finished tied for second with Byrd.
Haughton reached the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2014 and only the third time since moving up from Class 4A to 5A in 2011.
The Bucs also won nine games for the first time since 2014.
While Haughton had some talented underclassmen play key roles this season, head coach Jason Brotherton said the seniors made a big contribution to the team’s success.
In 2015, the Haughton freshman team won just one game.
“I told them last night they won 16 in the last two years,” Brotherton said Saturday. “They’ve come a long ways and put in the time and the work, bought into what we wanted them to do. So that was fun to watch.
“Then obviously we’ve got a bunch of young guys playing. So expectations-wise really we’re probably a year ahead of schedule. Thought next year we could be really good. We exceeded expectations this year and had a great year. Just hoping to build on that in the offseason with these young kids and keep that momentum going.”
The seniors who started or rotated in at some point this season on offense and defense, Brotherton said, were receivers Jonathan Sewell and Peter Howard; offensive linemen Jalen Duty, Mason Kizzia, Brandon Roten and McKinley Basco; defensive linemen Trenton Seets, Matthew White and Jacob Timm; linebacker Gavin Roe; and safety Keyangelo Thomas.
The seniors who were subs or played special teams also made contributions to the Bucs’ success.
John Ehret ended Haughton’s season for the third straight year. The previous two were first-round games.
For the third year in a row, the Bucs had no answer for talented Ehret quarterback Travis Mumphrey, a UNLV commit. According to The Times-Picayune/nola.com, Mumphrey completed 23 of 31 passes for 390 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
In three playoff games against Haughton, Mumphrey completed 60 of 76 passes for 883 yards.
“He’s a big-time player,” Brotherton said. “He’s really good and he’s gotten better. He can run, but he’ll fly around in the pocket and be able to throw the ball downfield accurately. The guys he’s throwing it to are good. They’re all big and tall and physical.”
De’ron Coleman caught 10 passes for 221 yards and two TDs.
But what impressed Brotherton the most was the Patriots defense, which limited the Bucs to 119 total yards.
“They were so good defensively,” he said. “There wasn’t room for us to do much of anything. They were big, fast, physical, just fly to the ball. Just kind of smother you on defense, don’t allow any big plays. That made it tough.
Ehret raced to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter. The Bucs finally got something going on offense early in the second quarter, driving 91 yards for a touchdown. CJ McWilliams capped the drive with a 6-yard pass to Matthew Whitten.
The Bucs had another promising drive end when the Patriots intercepted a pass on a fake punt attempt.
Other than that, though, the Ehret defense dominated.
The Patriots extended the lead to 30-6 at the half. Damon Leonard scored his second TD of the half on a 2-yard run and George Moreno booted a 20-yard field goal on the final play of the half.
McWilliams, who was moved from receiver to quarterback after starter Peyton Stovall suffered a shoulder injury in Week 7, completed 11 of 24 passes for 90 yards.
Ehret coach Marcus Scott was impressed with McWilliams’ all-around play, which also included returning kicks and punting.
“That No. 11 is a special athlete,” Scott told The Times-Picayune/nola.com.
Haughton’s loss brings the curtain down on the 2018 season in Bossier Parish. Parkway, Benton and Plain Dealing all lost in the first round.
For the first time since 2011, no parish team will be practicing during Thanksgiving week preparing for a quarterfinal game.