By Marco Clark, exclusive to the Times
The Natchitoches Central Chiefs traveled to West Monroe Thursday night to face the number #1 team in 5A football, the West Monroe Rebels. The Chiefs would face this task missing their All-District guard, A.J. Gillie, and starting quarterback, Jaylin White, giving Derienne Robinson the start. Coach Byron Keller said, “A.J. was missed but we can not feel sorry for ourselves. It’s next man up.” Picking up action in the first quarter the Chiefs received the opening kick-off for the first possession of the game. The Chiefs picked up a first down but were forced to punt the ball away on the next set of downs. The Rebels took possession on their own 47-yard line with 8:32 in the first.
The Rebels wasted little time putting points on the board scoring a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage on a 53-yard run by Cameron Wright. The extra point was good making the score 7-0. The Chiefs received the kick-off for their second possession but it was short lived as the Rebels forced another 3 and out. The Chiefs would recover the ball off a blooper by the Rebels. The punt by Derrick Payne hit a Rebel on the helmet and the Chiefs recover the ball and take over on their own 38-yard line for their third possession of the game. Up to this point the drive would be the longest of the night for Natchitoches Central, but a busted play on third down resulted in a loss of 2-yards putting the Chiefs behind the chains. The Chiefs would go for it on fourth down, but the pass was incomplete turning the ball back over to West Monroe.
The Rebels take over on the Chiefs 48. The Chiefs catch a break as the Rebels fumble the ball. Chiefs recover on their own 23-yard line. Natchitoches Central moved the ball on this drive picking up 14-yards on three plays but once again the drive stalled forcing the Chiefs to punt the ball away. The Rebels take over after a short gain on the punt return of 8-yards. The Rebels pick up 12 yards on a quick pass play, setting up a 39-yard touchdown run by Wright. PAT was good giving the Rebels a 14-0 lead to close out the quarter.
The Rebels went on to score 28 points in the second quarter while keeping Natchitoches Central out of the end zone and off the scoreboard. 41-0 Rebels at the half. The third quarter started with West Monroe’s Camden Pierce scoring on a running play to extend the lead to 48-0.The Chiefs Derienne Robinson hit Jeremiah Aaron for a 66-yard pass to put the Chiefs on the scoreboard. PAT no good. At this point, the Chiefs’ defense played inspired football forcing the Rebels to go three and out. Natchitoches Central would take over on their own 43-yard line and drove the field making it into the red zone.
The Chiefs capped off the drive by scoring on a 2-yard pass play from Robinson to Aaron. The 2 point conversion by Jaylin White was good. 48-14 Rebels. The Rebels received the kick-off from Natchitoches Central and drove the length the field, but the Chiefs defense came up big on a 2 and 6 play to force a fumble that the Rebels recovered. The Rebels would get revenge on the next play scoring a touchdown on a 37-yard run by Derone Williams. PAT good making the final score 55-14 West Monroe.
The Chiefs finish the regular season with a 3-7 record and unfortunately miss the playoffs.