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Bearcat Two Step

Ruston blows past LCA 35-20 with second half Fields party
Sunday, September 25, 2022
Bearcat Two Step

Photo by Josh McDaniel
This was a popular scene Friday night in Lafayette, as Dyson Fields (2) carried the ball 31 times for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns as Ruston bullied Lafayette Christian 35-20.

Welcome to big boy football, Lafayette Christian Academy.

For the first time since the Knights moved up in classification, they were dominated by a more physical team.

Ruston came out of the locker room in the third quarter and scored 28 points to take control 35-14 before pounding the Knights into submission with a powerful running game, turning a close game into a Ruston fais-do-do in Cajun Country.

Oh, and welcome back Dyson Fields. The RHS senior had his best game of the season after a 2,000-yard junior campaign, leading the Cats with 200 yards on 31 carries with three second half touchdowns. It was the first time Fields eclipsed the 200-yard mark since rushing for 234 yards against Benton in the second round of the 5A playoffs a year ago.

Perhaps it was his third-string blocking fullback that made the biggest play of the game for the Bearcats.

Sophomore linebacker Zheric Hill picked off a Ju’Juan Johnson pass in the second quarter and returned it 58 yards for a pick-6 touchdown that completely changed the complexion of the ballgame.

Up to that point the Knights were dominating the line of scrimmage and had held the Bearcats under 100 yards of offense. Whatever head coach Jerrod Baugh said in the locker room to his team, certainly worked.

“I just told the kids at halftime to fight and compete,” Baugh said. “I told them keep playing hard and execute and that’s what we did. We got the wheels moving and sustained drives.”

Back to back onside kicks were recovered by the Cats, both leading to touchdowns and the red wave of momentum completely dumbfounded the Knights.

R.J. Brown executed a perfect onside kick to open the third quarter and even recovered the ball himself to set the Cats up at their 45 yard line.

That’s when the Ruston offensive line began to dominate.

On third down and three, Fields ripped off a 42-yard run down to the LCA six yard line. Three plays later, Fields went airborne for a two-yard dive to tie the game at 14-14 with 9:19 left in the third quarter. On the ensuing kick, Brown did it again. This time, the ball caromed off an LCA player and Semaj Jones recovered the ball, setting Ruston up at their own 42.

The Cats embarked on a 7-play, 58yard drive that ended with Jordan Hayes sprinting 30 yards to paydirt that gave the Cats the lead for good at 21-14 with 5:49 to go in the third quarter.

The red avalanche continued. LCA quarterback Ja’Juan Johnson fumbled on a third down carry on the next series and Ruston recovered the ball at the Knights’ 22 yard line.

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what RHS offensive coordinator Earl Griffin would do from there.

Fields for two and then Fields for 20 yards for another score to stretch the lead to 28-14 with 4:21 remaining in the third.

That broke the LCA defense’s back. Ruston smelled blood in the water.

The Knights mounted a mild threat of a drive, but ended up punting and pinning Ruston at its own five yard line.

Didn’t matter where on the field. Feed the ball to Fields was the only strategy at that point.

Ruston finished off the Knights with a 9-play, 95-yard drive during which Fields had four carries for 46 yards, capping off the march with a 22-yard jaunt to the endzone. The Cats led 35-14 and the Knights were out of energy.

Johnson did give them a glimmer of hope by hitting Daejon Sinegal for a 43-yard scoring strike with 6:30 remaining to cut the lead to 35-20, but it was the last threat of the evening.

To finish off the game right, Jacorian Crowe picked off another LCA attempt on a halfback pass and Ruston ran out the clock grinding out first down after first down.

In what turned out to be vintage Ruston football, the Cats rushed for a season-high 347 yards as a team. In addition to Fields’ 200 yards, Hayes added 94 yards on 9 carries with a TD. Lajaveon Ellis added 28 yards on 6 totes.

LCA managed 291 yards of total offense, most of that coming before halftime when Johnson tossed two TD passes to Dudley Jackson from 32 yards out before connecting with Alonzo Ryes for a 35-yard TD in the second quarter to give the Knights a 14-0 lead.

Ruston’s third turnover of the first half gave the Knights the ball back, but that’s when Hill stepped in front of a Johnson heave and returned it for a TD to change the momentum of the contest.

Johnson completed 13- of- 24 passes for 197 yards for 3 TDs and one pick. He also rushed for 65 yards on 11 carries to pace LCA on the ground.

Ruston improves to 3-1 on the season with its third straight win over a ranked opponent. LCA drops to 3-1. The Cats will return home Friday to host rival Neville High at Hoss Garrett Stadium.