BATON ROUGE – Bill Conides’ tumultuous week had a tumultuous end, with his Denham Springs squad falling 60-14 to District 4-5A foe Scotlandville in his last game as the program’s head coach.
Conides said that he and school principal Wes Howard agreed to a “mutual parting” following a meeting on Monday following a loss to parish rival Walker.
In what was his final message to his team as head coach Conides, whose team wound up 1-9 after seven straight losses to close the season, made his point abundantly clear: the foundation for the future has been laid.
“I went to mass this (Friday) morning and we read from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans, his last letter,” Conides said. “And it was very poignant. In the last letter, he was leaving them and going off into the world to teach the rest of the world about the word of Jesus. And he did so knowing, the foundation had been built for the church.
“He trusted the people, the Romans, to continue that on,” he continued. “And I feel like we had built a foundation of success here, regardless of the record. For the seniors, for them to grow into successful human beings, the foundation has been built. With the younger cats, the foundation of success has been built. So, whoever is coming in, they’re coming into a great job and is probably going to win a state championship with the freshman group.”
Any hopes for a swan song in Conides’ last game were dashed quickly.
Scotlandville (7-3, 2-3 in 4-5A) raced out to a 28-0 lead after their first three possessions.
Denham Springs scored on a bust in coverage on the secondary allowed senior quarterback Luke Lunsford to find Phillip Earnhart for a 41-yard touchdown. But the Hornets responded with 32 unanswered points to put the game away for good.
“I’m just proud I got to have one last game with my brothers,” Lunsford said. “And I got to throw it to my buddy Phillip, a senior as well. I’m just grateful to be on this team even though it didn’t turn out like we wanted. I still love these guys.”
Scotlandville’s offense racked up 528 yards of total offense, 373 of which came through the air.
Denham Springs (1-9, 0-5) finished with 245 total yards, 156 coming off a 11-23 outing for Lunsford. Senior running back Jase Zachary scored the first touchdown of his career on a hard-earned 10-yard run up the middle.
“I’ve been working hard for these last four years,” Zachary said. “It just means a lot. There’s a lot of emotions going through my head right now. It meant a lot to me that (Conides) had the trust in me to put the ball in the end zone.”
Scotlandville 60, Denham Springs 14
Score by Quarters
Denham Springs 0 7 0 7 - 14
Scotlandville 22 12 13 13 - 60
SHS: Marlon Gunn Jr. 72 run (Nick Montgomery kick)
SHS: Gunn 6 run (Montgomery kick)
SHS: Sylvester Bouligny 10 pass from Jesse Craig (Craig pass to Darius Williams)
SHS: Chance Williams 5 run (Kick no good)
DS: Phillip Earnhart 41 pass from Luke Lunsford (Cameron Beall kick)
SHS: Reginald King 65 pass from Craig (Kick failed)
SHS: Jeremiah Harris 88 pass from Craig (Conversion failed)
SHS: King 37 pass from Craig (Montgomery kick)
SHS: Trevor Robertson 70 pass from C’Zavian Teasett (Montgomery kick)
SHS: Robertson 3 pass from Teasett (Kick failed)
DS: Jase Zachary 10 run (Beall kick)
First Downs 10 8
Rushes – Yards 19–89 19–155
Passing Yards 156 373
C–A–I 11–23–2 11–21–0
Punts–Avg. 2-36 N/A
Fumbles Lost 1 1
Penalties – Yards 4–30 3–40