LAKE CHARLES LA. – The Louisiana Swashbucklers have commenced on a month long road trip starting with a 71-63 victory over the Rio Grande Valley Magic last Saturday in Hidalgo, Texas. With the win, the Bucs improve to 6-1 on the year while the Magic drop to 2-5. The Swashbucklers will be at home in the Smuggler’s Den on Saturday, May 28th, when the Corpus Christi Hammerheads, a former rival, return to renew the rivalry. It will also be the annual Freedom Fighter’s salute to the military, local police, fire departments and other first responders.
The game ended when Magic quarterback Billy Garza had to leave the game due to a leg injury. Rio Grande was trailing by eight points with 19.9 seconds remaining when Garza was stopped on a sneak at Louisiana’s two-yard line. Backup quarterback Ramonce Taylor tried to pass on fourth and goal but the play was broken up.
The Swashbucklers had scored late in the game to stay ahead though Rio Grande had a 23-point third quarter scoring spree. The Magic blocked the extra point after that touchdown. That kept the margin between the two teams at eight. Rio Grande drove down the field to attempt a tie but was stopped short of the end zone and Garza sustained his injury. Louisiana quarterback Ben McLaughlin passed for 281 yards and eight touchdowns. Running back Kendrick Perry had 11 carries for 38 yards. Among the Bucs receivers Sammy Knight had seven catches for 85 yards and one touchdown. Jordan Rideaux had five for 55 yards and a score. Marcus Wilridge caught five for 53 yards and two TDs.
Team totals include 22 Swashbucklers first downs and 31 for Rio Grande. Louisiana 281 total passing yards and the Magic had 267. In total offense the Bucs had 322 yards while Rio Grande had 316 yards.
This was the only scheduled meeting between the two teams for the 2011 season.
Grateful acknowledgement goes to sports reporter Brian Sandalow of the Monitor, a Valley Freedom newspaper in Texas, for his contributions and statistical information to this article.