Berlin finished the night with 276 yards on a workhorse 34 carries as a grinding running attack just wore down the Bulldogs.
Cecilia was making a game of it until the middle of the third quarter. The score was knotted at 7-all at halftime and the i’Dogs took the lead when Montrel Carter returned the second half kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. But St. Louis answered with three scores of its own over an eight minute stretch to go ahead 28-13 at the end of the third period.
The Saints added an insurance TD late in the game to seal the victory.
The win improved the Lake Charles’ school season record to 9-1 while Cecilia ended its run at 5-6.
The saints took the opening kickoff and marched 61 yards in 11 plays for the game’s first score, with Berlin getting the eight-yard TD.
It seemed that Cecilia would quickly answer when Montrel Carter connected with Grant Degetaire for a 40-yard pickup to the Saints’ 16. But a critical penalty helped kill the drive at the 14.
After an exchange of punts, the Bulldogs got moving from their 19, sparked when Carter got loose for 29 yards just as the first quarter ended. Facing a 4th-and-two situation, Carter kept the ball and sprinted 19 yards for the score. Dustin Guilbeau’s kick knotted the score early in the second stanza.
The most serious threat over the remainder of the half was a long field goal attempt by the Saints that missed the mark.
Carter’s electrifying kickoff return that opened the second half brought Cecilia fans to the feet and gave the Bulldogs a 13-7 lead (the PAT kick was blocked).
But the Saints went right to work with their potent ground attack, eating up 43 yards in seven plays to score on an eight-yard run by Berlin. The PAT put St. Louis up by 14-13 and they would never be challenged again.
Berlin added two more TDs before the end of the period, scoring on runs of five and three yards.
The Bulldogs drove deep into Saints territory on a 22-yard run by Carter and a 17-yard catch by Mark Abshire. But then Carter was sacked for a loss and two passes fell incomplete.
Berlin got his final touchdown against a tiring Bulldog defense when he rumbled 80 yards to pay dirt with just 1:20 on the clock.
Carter ended his high school football career on a positive note, rushing for 177 yards on 36 carries, completing 8-of-14 passes for another 104 yards, and scoring both Bulldog touchdowns.
St. Louis will play No. 21 Neville (6-5) in the regional round Friday.