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Opelousas defeats Cecilia, 26-13: Live updates, score of Louisiana high school football Division II non-select state championship (12/8/2023)

Tigers get revenge for regular-season loss while winning program's first state title

NEW ORLEANS - On Oct. 20, Opelousas let a 14-point lead slip away to Cecilia, 25-22, in a District 5-4A game.

Friday afternoon, the Tigers turned the tables, avenging that defeat while completing a historic playoff run. Behind a strong rushing performance from quarterback Zackeus Malveaux and tailback D'Shaun Ford, Opelousas defeated Cecilia, 26-13, in the Division II non-select title game at the Caesars Superdome.

It was the first state title in program history for Opelousas, and it capped off a surprising run through the bracket.

The Tigers (12-3) were seeded No. 12 entering the postseason but have defeated four top five seeds along the way, including defending state champion Lutcher in the quarterfinals and top-seeded North DeSoto in last week's semifinals.

Then, in the first state title game appearance since 1956 for Opelousas, the Tigers defeated the No. 2 seed, Cecilia, to win it all.

Malveaux was named the Most Outstanding Player for the Tigers, rushing for 114 yards on 10 carries, including scoring the Tigers' first two touchdowns, while adding 90 yards passing on 4-of-7 attempts. Ford, a junior, added 146 yards on 26 carries and two TDs, including a game-clinching 14-yard run with 1:33 left to play.

Follow Louisiana editor Buck Ringgold (@Buck_SBLiveOkla) for updates from the ground at the Superdome, and refresh this post for the latest. The game is being streamed live and will be available for replay on the NFHS Network (subscription required).

Below is our Live Update Feed created as the contest progresses. Read from the bottom up to follow from the beginning and refresh often for the latest updates throughout the game.


Refresh for latest.


-- Opelousas junior quarterback Zackeus Malveaux was named the Tigers' Most Outstanding Player. He completed 4-of-7 passes for 90 yards while rushing for 114 yards on 10 carries, including scoring the Tigers' first two TDs on the afternoon.

-- Cecilia junior defensive back Brent Gordon Jr. was named the Bulldogs' Most Outstanding Player. He had 16 total tackles, 11 solo, and two tackles for loss.

-- Opelousas out-gained Cecilia, 381-221, including a 291-67 edge in rushing yards. Tailback D'Shaun Ford had 146 yards on 26 carries and two TDs, and quarterback Zackeus Malveaux had 114 yards on 10 carries and two TDs along with completing 4-of-7 passes for 90 yards.

-- Opelousas entered the playoffs as the No. 12 seed. But the Tigers beat three top five seeds along the way, including defending state champion Lutcher, top-seeded North DeSoto and No. 2 seed Cecilia. A remarkable run for the Tigers.

-- For the first time in program history, the Opelousas Tigers are state champions after defeating Cecilia for the Division II non-select state title.


-- Opelousas defensive lineman Jonathan Ford gets a sack on fourth down with 57 seconds left. The Tigers are going to run out the clock and win their first-ever football state championship.

-- Opelousas gets a TD with 1:33 left on a 14-yard sprint to the end zone by D'Shaun Ford. Zackeus Malveaux adds a two-point run (Opelousas, 26-13 | 1:33, 4th)

-- Opelousas inside the Cecilia 20 with less than three minutes to go.

-- Opelousas tailback D'Shaun Ford breaks off a 34-yard run down to the Cecilia 24. First down, Tigers, with 3:17 left on the clock. Cecilia takes its first time out of the half.

-- Opelousas converts for a first down near its 40 with less than four minutes to go.

-- Touchdown Cecilia, as QB Diesel Solari runs in a keeper from 6 yards out. Bulldogs go for two, but don't get it. Cecilia went 86 yards in 11 plays for that touchdown drive (Opelousas, 18-13 | 5:02, 4th)

-- First-and-goal for Cecilia at the Opelousas 6 with nearly five minutes left.

-- Bulldogs now have the ball inside the Opelousas 15 with less than six minutes left.

-- Cecilia has the ball near midfield with less than seven minutes to go.

-- Opelousas punts the ball back to Cecilia. Bulldogs take over at their own 14 trailing by two scores with 8:13 remaining.

-- Through three quarters, the Tigers had 294 total yards compared to 146 for the Bulldogs. Opelousas also out-rushed Cecilia, 204-38.

-- Opelousas has the ball at the Cecilia 47 as the quarter commences.


-- Opelousas QB Zacheus Malveaux throws a pass for a first down just beyond midfield as the quarter comes to an end.

-- Opelousas defensive back Landon Hammond intercepts a pass near his own 35 to stop the Bulldogs' drive with 33 seconds left in the quarter.

-- Cecilia QB Diesel Solari converts on a fourth-and-short near midfield entering the final minute of the quarter.

-- What a response by Opelousas after the Cecilia TD. Tigers drive 71 yards in eight plays, capped off by a 1-yard TD plunge from tailback D'Shaun Ford. A two-point pass fails, but Tigers regain a two-score advantage (Opelousas, 18-7 | 3:34, 3rd) 

-- Opelousas marches inside the Bulldogs' 30 on the ensuing series, and they keep the drive alive by converting a fourth down to the Cecilia 14 with less than five minutes in the quarter. 

-- On third-and-22 for Cecilia, the Bulldogs strike. QB Diesel Solari fires it deep, and the ball lands just beyond an Opelousas defender and in the hands of receiver Ellis Stewart for a 48-yard TD. Jonathan Boudreaux adds the PAT and the Bulldogs are back in this (Opelousas, 12-7 | 7:44, 3rd)

-- Cecilia's defense forces a three-and-out on the opening series and the Tigers will punt it away. Bulldogs take over just past midfield.

-- Opelousas receives the kickoff to start the second half.


-- Opelousas out-gained the Bulldogs in the first half, 196-61, including a 184-17 edge in rushing yards. QB Zackeus Malveaux had 102 yards rushing on six carries and two TDs, and TB D'Shaun Ford added 54 yards on 11 carries.


-- Cecilia doesn't do too much with time running out until halftime, so Opelousas will take its double-digit lead into the locker room.

-- Opelousas extends the lead with 40 seconds left in the half as QB Zackeus Malveaux runs in his second TD keeper, a 66-yard dash and was virtually untouched en route to the end zone. Tigers try for two again, but are once again stopped short (Opelousas, 12-0 | :40 2nd)

-- Opelousas forces Cecilia to punt. Tigers take over near their 35 with more than a minute to go until the half.

-- Cecilia defender Brent Gordon Jr. makes the stop on fourth down. Bulldogs hold and will take over at their own 13.

-- Opelousas will face a fourth-and-1 at the Cecilia 12. Tigers will call their second time out of the half.

-- Tigers break off a pair of big-gain runs and now have the ball near the Cecilia 20.

-- Opelousas QB Zackeus Malveaux breaks off a lengthy gain for a keeper past midfield, but it is brought back due to a penalty. However, Cecilia was flagged for a late hit on Malveaux out of bounds, so Opelousas will still get a first down near its 45.

-- Cecilia goes for it on fourth-and-long inside the Opelousas 30, but a pass falls incomplete and the Tigers hold serve.

-- Opelousas out-gained Cecilia in total yards in the first quarter, 78-29, including a 66-3 edge in rushing yardage.


-- Bulldogs face a third-and-10 at the Opelousas 25 as the second quarter will get under way.

-- Tigers advance past midfield on their second drive before it stalls. Opelousas attempts to punt it away, but Cecilia breaks through the line to block the kick. Bulldogs take over at the Tiger 25.

-- Opelousas forces a three-and-out on the Bulldogs' next series. This time, Cecilia punts it away. Tigers take over near their own 30.

-- Opelousas scores on its first drive as QB Zackeus Malveaux takes a keeper around the right side for a 32-yard TD. Tigers try for two more points, but a run is stopped short. They drove 58 yards in seven plays for the game's opening score (Opelousas, 6-0 | 6:58, 1st)

-- Opelousas getting things done on its opening series. The Tigers just converted a third down and have the ball near the Bulldogs' 30.

-- Cecilia fakes the punt, but is stopped a couple of yards short. Tigers begin their first series in excellent field position, at their own 42-yard line.

-- Cecilia advances to near midfield on the opening series before the drive stalls. Bulldogs will punt it away to Opelousas, which will begin its first offensive series.

-- Opelousas wins the coin toss and defers to the second half. The Tigers will be kicking it off to Cecilia to start the game.


-- Both Opelousas and Cecilia have taken the field. Opelousas wearing orange helmets, white jerseys and white pants. Cecilia with yellow helmets, green jerseys and green pants.

Photo of Opelousas' Zackeus Malveaux by Robert Summerlin, Lafayette Daily Advertiser