By LaMar Gafford | Photos/Video by Parker Waters
NEW ORLEANS - Vermilion Catholic came into the Division IV select championship game having shut out seven opponents and allowing just 58 points.
However, Ouachita Christian was having none of it.
OCS defeated Vermilion Catholic, 28-14, in the Caesars Superdome to claim its second championship in four years.
“It is hard to get to a state championship game, and this senior class is the first in OCS history to make it four years in a row,” OCS coach Steven Fitzhugh said. “The character, the discipline and the love they have for each other - they’re going to carry that through their whole lives.”
OCS (13-1) forced four turnovers as senior Broc Hogan intercepted two passes and was named as its Most Outstanding Player. Hogan also caught six passes for 64 yards.
“The second one I picked off, I just jumped it and I thought it was the right thing to do,” Hogan said. “I just thank God for giving me this ability to play football at this level.”
With the OCS defense holding Vermilion Catholic down, its offense stepped up as senior quarterback Landon Graves went 19-for-25 passing with 215 yards and two touchdowns. Both of those touchdowns went to junior receiver Drew Dougan, who also had three receptions for 32 yards.
“This means so much for me and this school,” Graves said. “This school has been so great to me and it’s given me a lot of opportunities. I wouldn’t rather do this anywhere else.”
Vermilion Catholic (13-1) was only able to tie the game once when sophomore Jonathan Dartez had a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 7-7 early in the second quarter, but the OCS defense made life hard for him throughout the game with six of the seven drives in the second and third quarter taking six plays or fewer.
In all, Dartez was responsible for all four VC turnovers, including three interceptions. Dartez also took two sacks despite accounting for 211 yards.
“Every time we tried to crease the run, they did a good job in sewing the back half of it and not give us those big ones,” VC coach Broc Prejean said. “Kudos to them. Nothing they did surprised us, but they played a really hard, physical game.”
VC was making its first Prep Classic appearance since winning the Division IV select title in 2013.