First-year Catholic High head football coach David Simoneaux Jr. presented the challenge to his senior safety Josh Wax, a defensive assignment that went like this.
“We told him we weren’t putting him a great situation,” Simoneaux said, “but we trusted him to get it done.”
In trying to keep in check the run-heavy veer offense of two-time defending state champion Acadiana High, Wax was charged with the task of coming up in run support and also dropping into pass coverage to mirror the Rams’ tight end.
The result was a 20-0 victory for Catholic High, now the state’s top-ranked team in Class 5A, where the Bears’ defense limited Acadiana to 143 total yards, forced four turnovers and became the first team to shut out the Rams, the state’s previously No. 1 team, in six years.
“We’re playing great team defense,” Simoneaux said. “I have so much respect for their physicality and the machine that they are. I knew that (a shutout) would be a very tall task.”
Because of his efforts Wax was selected the Tiger Rag/Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health “Shining Star of the Week” after making six tackles with an interception that would have been a pick-6 if not for a penalty.
“He did a fantastic job,” Simoneaux said. “Very physical forcing the run and making a lot of tackles on the edge. He’s got elite speed bottling up Acadiana’s backs which were very fast. He turned it in and made the plays. Open-field tackling is a tough thing to master, and he did a great job against those guys.”
“He’s the captain of the secondary, he’s the quarterback back there for us,” Simoneaux said. “He’s a three-year starter, makes a lot of the calls and gets us lined up. He’s a guy if they think they’ve hit a big play, he’s going to run them down. He plays for his teammates.”
Wax’s play highlighted a weekend of play that also included the following outstanding efforts:
KALEB JACKSON, Liberty (9 carries, 260 yards, 5 TDs), COREY SINGLETON, Catholic (17-81, 2 TDs), BRIAN BECK, University (19-156, TD), RICKIE COLLINS, Woodlawn (17-26, 235 yards, 2 TDs), ELI HOLSTEIN, Zachary (14-20, 197 yards, 2 TDs), CHARLES ROBERTSON, Zachary, (5 catches 131 yards, 3 TDs), SAMMY DAQUANO, Brusly (185 yards passing, 2 TDs, 68 yards rushing), DYLAN SAMPSON, Dutchtown (14-146, 3 TDs), HUNTER BETHEL, Walker (19-26, 213 yards, 2 TDs), MARLON GUNN, Scotlandville (16-157, 2 TDs), THOMAS D’ARMOND, Episcopal (15-125, 2 TDs).
WES WOODWARD, Catholic (10 tackles), DAMIEN KNIGHTEN, Scotlandville (3 interceptions, 1 TD), DENARIUS ROBINSON, Brusly (8 tackles, sack, fumble recovery), KAMERON HAMILTON, Zachary, (7 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, fumble recovery, 5 QB hurries, blocked punt).
KYLAN DUPRE, Catholic (4 punts, 49.5-yard average with long of 72 yards).