Guarisco Guides Central Catholic Past Opelousas Catholic
by Jordan Arceneaux (Special to Acadiana Postgame)
OPELOUSAS- Central Catholic of Morgan City’s Stefano Guarisco put up video game-like numbers in week one.
He followed that performance the way only a few players in the state can.
The senior running back followed his 405-yard, five-touchdown week one performance with four touchdowns and 301 all-purpose yards to lead his Eagles squad to a 32-20 win over Opelousas Catholic Friday night at Donald Gardner Stadium in Opelousas.
“He’s a hell of a football player,” Central Catholic head coach Tommy Minton said after the game. “We blocked some people up front. They had eight or nine people up in the box. The offensive line has done a great job two weeks in a row and he (Guarisco), runs very hard.”
Guarisco left his mark early.
He took the opening kickoff 85 yards for the touchdown. He ran in the two-point conversion to give Central Catholic an 8-0 lead before fans could get settled in their seats.
Opelousas Catholic struggled early, committing several costly mistakes, including a botched snap that sailed over punter Aaron Whipp’s head out the back of the endzone for a safety to extend Central Catholic’s lead to 10-0.
The Vikings saw two other snaps sail over Labbe’s head for losses of 14 and 15 yards respectively.
After OC’s Sam Jarrell intercepted Blake Byrne’s pass in the endzone for a touchback, Labbe broke loose for an 80-yard run on a quarterback keeper to cut OC’s deficit to 10-7 with about four minutes left in the first quarter.
Facing a fourth down and 11, Central Catholic’s Demarcus Mitchell connected with Jalen Johnson for 24 yards to the two yard line to set up a Guarisco touchdown run on the next play. Mitchell ran in the two-point conversion to give the Eagles an 18-7 going into halftime.
Early in the fourth quarter, Labbe found Aaron Miller for a 6-yard touchdown. After a failed two-point attempt, the Vikings trailed 18-13.
On Central Catholic’s next drive, Mitchell threw a 67-yard touchdown to a streaking Guarisco to give his team a 26-13 lead following a successful two-point conversion.
Miller scored on a 47-yard screen pass with 7:50 to go to cut the Central Catholic lead to 26-20 with 7:50 left in the game.
After the a quick stop by the defense, OC’s offense got the ball back, but a bad snap on first down hurt the drive and it resulted in a turnover on downs after a halfback pass to Jacobi Richard was a yard short.
“It looked like the first scrimmage of the year,” said OC head coach Dane Charpentier. “I’m having a hard time digesting what I saw on the offensive side of the football. It was a lack of execution on a massive scale.”
Guarisco shut the door on a Viking comeback with a 10-yard scamper for a score. He finished with 152 yards rushing with two scores.
Labbe led OC with 127 yards rushing on 18 carries and a touchdown.
Minton said he was proud of his defense that he said has played well since the second half of last week’s game against St. John High School in Plaquemines.
“We have guys playing their roles,” he said. “We’re finding roles for some guys. We’re finding the right places for people and we’re figuring out how to use them.”
The Vikings had over 70 yards in penalties, something Charpentier said needs to be cleaned up before next week’s road game against St. Edmund.
“It’s frustrating because I feel like we’re a lot better than what we’re playing like,” he said. “That is my job. I have to get it corrected.”
Central Catholic has its home opener next week against Ascension Catholic.