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Tarps, Trojans fall in playoffs

Tarps, Trojans fall in playoffs

Friday was a tough night for the South Lafourche and Central Lafourche football teams.

Both the Tarpons and Trojans fell in the opening round of the Louisiana state playoffs – each bowing out in decisive fashion.

The Tarpons fell 38-0 at the hands of Bastrop in Class 4A, while Central Lafourche dropped a 55-7 decision to two-time defending state champions Acadiana in Class 5A.

Both South Lafourche coach Dennis Skains and Central Lafourche coach Keith Menard said they’re proud of their teams. The Tarpons and Trojans each capped their 2015 seasons with 6-5 records.

“We battled adversity all year and I think a lesser team would have folded up and quit a long time ago,” Skains said. “I’m so proud of these kids. I was at a loss for words. I wanted the journey to go longer, but it didn’t. It was hard to accept the finality – that this group won’t take the field together again.”

“It was emotional. We wanted it to be,” Menard said. “We lined up all of the seniors in the back of the end zone and everyone shook their hands and thanked them. We needed to make a leap this year, and our senior class did that. They mean a lot to our program.”

TARPONS FALL AT BASTROP

South Lafourche’s stay in the playoffs wasn’t any fun.

The Tarpons made a five and a half hour bus trip to North Louisiana to take on a Rams team that entered the game with an 8-2 record – both losses coming against top-flight competition.

It showed.

South Lafourche won the opening coin toss and deferred possession to Bastrop, who proceeded to drive straight down in just 66 seconds – a quick drive capped on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Jerry Powell to Alontae Alford. After a two-point conversion, the Rams led 8-0.

The Rams ballooned that lead to 24-0 at halftime with two other scoring drives that mirrored the first – short, fast drives punctuated by quick striking plays – most often involving Powell, Alford or Al Dowles.

But the frustrating part for South Lafourche is that they moved the ball, too, but just couldn’t score. The Tarpons pushed inside the red zone on all three of their first half drives, but couldn’t walk away with anything to show for it.

One drive ended in a missed field goal from kicker Brannon Lee that dinged off the right upright. The other two ended with a turnover on downs.

“We had success. We just couldn’t finish (drives),” Skains said. “We spent plenty enough time down there, but we just couldn’t get in. It’s a shame, because if we get points there, it changes everything. We knew the defense would eventually settle in.”

Out of the lockers, South Lafourche had more failed scoring chances. The Tarpons forced both a turnover and a punt in the third quarter, which led to some additional prime field position that never became fruitful.

Bastrop put the game in the fourth quarter with a short touchdown run from Powell. The Rams added a late touchdown to put the game away.

Rams coach Brad Bradshaw said he was happy with his team’s fast start, touting that South Lafourche is “a heck of a team.”

“That’s a good football team to be seeded No. 22,” Bradshaw said. “They moved the ball up and down the field and kicked our butt. We had a fast start and it gave us an edge.”

TROJANS FALL AT ACADIANA

Central Lafourche was staked with Mission Impossible on Friday night: beat an Acadiana team that entered the game with 10-straight playoff wins and two-straight Class 5A State Titles.

The Trojans fought early, but slipped late, which doomed the team’s fate and ended the team’s season.

The Wrecking Rams got the football first and marched straight down the field in six plays for an early touchdown to go up 7-0.

But the Trojans battled back, using a 10-play drive to go straight down the field to tie it up on a short run from halfback Nelton Allen.

“We played them tough early” Menard said. “We liked our game plan going in and the kids were ready. But that’s one heck of a football team. We knew we had to be almost perfect, and they got a few breaks that really set us back.”

That play came with 4:30 to go in the first quarter.

The rest of the game was all Wrecking Rams.

After the Trojans touchdown, Acadiana bounced back, using their powerful ground game to gash Central Lafourche’s defense. The Rams scored 28-straight points in the first half to take a 35-7 halftime lead.

The onslaught continued into the third quarter with Acadiana going on top 49-7 after the third quarter. The Charging Rams added another touchdown in the fourth quarter, but missed the extra point to bring the game to its final margin.

Menard said the loss was tough, but he’s happy for the successes the team achieved this season. Central Lafourche reached the postseason for the first time since 2009 this season and had a winning season.

“Those guys meant so much,” Menard said of his seniors. “They accomplished their goal this year and if we make the playoffs next year, they deserve credit for that, too, for showing the younger kids how it was done.”