With a stellar performance from its freshman quarterback Elijah Haven and an even better performance from the defense, Dunham defeated district rival Episcopal 55-28.
The Tigers (5-2, 2-0) led the game from start to finish as the Knights (5-2, 1-1) only came within a touchdown only one time and that was in the first quarter. Dunham’s dominant 35-14 first half was the difference maker in Friday’s game.
“I was really proud of how well we started,” Dunham head coach Neil Weiner said after the game. “We came out clicking on all three phases.”
Haven was the most outstanding player in this game. Haven, who turned 15 on Sunday, completed 19 of his 27 passing attempts for 216 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Although it wasn’t his best day throwing the rock, he was very effective in the Tigers’ rushing attack as he had 91 yards and four touchdowns.
Wide receiver/defensive back Drew Bourgeois was also a major contributor to Dunham’s victory over Episcopal. Bourgeois not only caught a touchdown on offense but was a key player on defense as he was flying all over the field making plays in the defensive backfield. He also caught an interception late in the fourth quarter.
After Haven and wide receiver Jac Comeaux would connect on a deep pass right on Episcopal’s one-yard line, running back Mason Wild would plunge in the endzone to give the Tigers an early 7-0 lead.
When Episcopal took over the next possession, quarterback Zach Hu threw his first interception of the game when Dunham senior linebacker Cole Leblanc read the designed screen pass and picked off the pass. A few players later, Haven would connect with Bourgeois for his first and only passing touchdown to give the Tigers a 14-0 lead over the Knights midway through the first quarter.
However, the Knights would finally respond when their star running back Braeden George scored on a 56-yard scamper to make the score 14-7. George would finish with 18 carries for 143 yards and a touchdown.
However, George’s long touchdown would of few bright spots in the first half. Dunham 35-7 led with 3:12 left in the first half after Haven scored two rushing touchdowns and Jake House blocked a punt and would scoop and score.
Episcopal would make the score 35-14 at the half when Hu would find wide receiver David Olinde on a 62-yard bomb for a touchdown. Hu’s touchdown pass was his second of the year.
In the third quarter, Episcopal would score the first touchdown of the second half when running back Reid Chauvin busted through the line of scrimmage for a 37-yard touchdown run to make the score 35-21 with 8:02 left in the quarter. The Knights would get the ball right back after they surprised Dunham with an onside kick and recovered it.
However, they failed to take advantage of the opportunity as Hu threw a backward pass, leading to Louis Philips scooping it up and rumbling to the two-yard line before being brought down. A few plays later, Haven would score his third rushing touchdown of the game.
However, Episcopal was not done yet. After a solid run by George on a much-needed fourth down conversion, Chauvin would score his second touchdown of the game to soften Dunham’s stranglehold of the game, making the score 42-28 with just over two minutes left to go in the third quarter.
However, Dunham would assert its dominance over its district rivals as the Dunham defense strangled the Episcopal defense in the fourth quarter. Haven and sophomore running back Joshua Lazard scored one touchdown each to account for the final margin.
Dunham will have another district game against a pesky East Feliciana on Oct. 20 and will look to push its winning streak to three. Episcopal will look to rebound against Northeast on Oct.20 as well.