Zachary head coach David Brewerton said the words of his coaching mentor Sid Edwards were never more appropriate.
“In crunch time, players, not plays,” Brewerton repeated of one of the favorite adages used by Edwards, one the Baton Rouge-area most successful football coaches whom he coached under at Redemptorist.
Faced with such a situation, in what Brewerton termed a ‘heavyweight’ battle last Friday against St. Augustine in Tad Gormley Stadium, the Broncos knew exactly where to turn in a time of need.
Senior running back Connor Wisham, the team’s offensive captain, scored all three of his team’s touchdowns during a frenetic third-quarter span in which No. 2 Zachary regained the lead and added a field goal in the fourth quarter for a 45-35 victory over St. Augustine.
For his efforts Wisham was selected the Tiger Rag Magazine/Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health Shining Star of the Week.
“You find your guy,” Brewerton said. “You know who your guys are that can make really big plays. In a game like that when you’re throwing punches and taking punches, you’ve got to get the football in the hands of your playmakers. It was a no-brainer to put the ball in Wisham’s hands.”
Wisham accounted for 241 all-purpose yards, scoring a touchdown rushing, receiving and on special teams, with the finale coming on a 90-yard kickoff return in which he broke two tackles and outran the final defender to give his team the lead for good at 42-35.
“When you have a back where he was a starter as a junior, he’s used to playing in big games,” Brewerton said. “He understood what it was all about. He understood that we needed to lean on him to get it taken care of. The more success (Texas A&M QB commitment) Eli (Holstein) had throwing the football it may have opened up some things in the run game in the second half, therefore we were able to benefit from that.”
Wisham’s breakdown went like this: 14 carries, 94 yards and a 39-yard TD; 2 catches, 47 yards and a TD and two kickoff returns for 130 yards and a score.
With St. Augustine breathing down their necks and tying the game twice in the quarter, Zachary had a counter each time with Wisham scoring on a 50-yard screen pass from Holstein and later adding the go-ahead score with his 90-yard kickoff return.
“Connor ran the ball really well, their defensive line was huge,” Brewerton said. “Early on he was getting smacked around pretty good in the first quarter, but he kept doing the things that he does. The o-line started to play better in the second half, and he was able to get some yardage.”
Wisham’s play highlighted a weekend of play that also included the following outstanding efforts:
COLE POIRRIER, St. Amant (accounted for 363 yards and 6 TDs, a 42-yard punt and four touchbacks), JACORY THOMAS, Walker (accounted for 243 yards and 3 TDs), ELI HOLSTEIN, Zachary (10 of 13 passing, 231 yards, 4 TDs), DYLAN SAMPSON, Dutchtown (13 carries for 186 yards, 3 TDs; 3 catches, 29 yards), WARREN YOUNG, Walker, (7 catches, 128 yards 3 TDs), HUNTER BETHEL, Walker, (16 of 25, 253 yards, 2 TDs), JONATHAN SWIFT, Central, (accounted for 233 (136 rushing, 97 passing) yards, 4 TDs, ETHAN CARMOUCHE, Episcopal, (23 carries, 211 yards, 3 TDs, 2-point run), KYLAN GROSS, Liberty (13 of 23, 205 yards, 2 TDs), JASON BARNES, University (189 yards rushing, 3 TDs), ZEON CHRISS, Madison Prep (9 of 16, 178 yards, 3 TDs, 1 rushing TD), THOMAS D’ARMOND, Episcopal (11 carries 115 yards), RYAN HIATT, Denham Springs (4 catches, 112 yards, TD), EDAN STAGG, University (5 catches, 105 yards, TD), KAMERON SENAGAL, Zachary (2 catches, 95 yards, TD), BRENNAN GIBSON, Port Allen, (3 catches, 86 yards), KALEB JACKSON, Liberty (7 rushes, 84 yards, 4 TDs)
HAROLD LAWSON, Catholic, (11 tackles), ROBERT AMACKER, Port Allen, (9 tackles, 7 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, forced fumble), LUKE YDARRAGA, Live Oak, (8 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 TFLs, 1 QB Hurry), AIDEN SAUNDERS, Live Oak, (8 tackles, 3 TFLs), WES WOODWARD, Catholic, (7 tackles), STEPHEN LANDRY, St. Amant, (5 tackles, 1 TFL, 2 QB hurry, sack)
LANDON CARTER, Catholic, (2 field goals, 1 extra point), KYLAN DUPRE, Catholic, (45-yard punt average with long punt of 57 yards, one inside the 20-yard line), KELLEN CONACHEN, Zachary, (32-yard FG, 6 of 6 extra points, HAYDEN REA, Walker, (8 extra points).