New South Lafourche head football coach Brandon Nowlin didn’t have to wait too long to get his first win as a Tarpon.
South Lafourche rolled on Friday night, overcoming a 24-21 third-quarter deficit in stride, rallying forward to a 40-24 season-opening victory against Bonnabel to start the team’s season.
The win is Nowlin’s first in Galliano after he was hired over the summer to lead the Tarpons program.
He said the night is one he’ll never forget, adding that the first win of every season is special.
“We got one,” Nowlin said with a smile after the win. “The night, the atmosphere – everything about it was special. The kids enjoyed it and I enjoyed it. Now, we have to focus on getting better and fixing mistakes. That’s always easier to do after a win than when you came up on the other side of things. We’re happy, and we want to build on that next Friday night.”
For the Tarpons, that first win sure didn’t come easy. For the first three quarters of Friday’s game, the Bruins were every bit the equal of the Tarpons.
South Lafourche struck first, forcing a defensive stop and then converting a blocked punt into a Jeremy Rogers touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
But the Bruins answered back on the next drive, scoring a long touchdown run from Maurice Britton to tie the game at 7-all.
But the Tarpons had an answer, producing a long drive capped by Allen’s first touchdown of the game to go up 14-7 late in the first quarter.
Sophomore Brock Bailleaux started at quarterback for South Lafourche after Cheramie was levied a one-quarter suspension for a violation of team rules.
Nowlin said Bailleaux’s play inspired the offense and set the tone.
The Tarpons took a 14-10 lead into halftime after Bonnabel scored a late field goal before intermission.
“He did a really good job,” Nowlin said. “We trust him. He’s a good player. He wouldn’t have been back there if he wasn’t.”
In the second half, special teams roared for Bonnabel, as the Bruins scored touchdowns on both a kickoff return and a fake punt to boost a struggling offense.
But South Lafourche had an answer for every Bruins blow, scoring two third-quarter touchdowns of their own to carry a 28-24 lead into the fourth quarter – one score on a long pass from Cheramie to Jelby Cheramie in the back of the end zone and another on a 71-yard scamper from Jaydon Cheramie.
In the fourth quarter, Bonnabel ran out of gas, and the Tarpons hit the accelerator, leading two-straight scoring drives – each capped by touchdowns from Allen to push the game to its final margin.
Allen said the win was big for the team after a loss in the preseason jamboree. The halfback credited the team’s offensive line with the win.
“We had big holes to run,” Allen said. “Those guys need a lot of credit. They did a great job.”
With the win, South Lafourche is 1-0 on the season.
The Tarpons will carry that unblemished record into Friday night’s meeting with Carver.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
TROJANS RUN PAST JACKS
Just up the road from Galliano in Mathews, the Central Lafourche football team spent its Friday night proving that there’s a ready why there are two halves to every regulation game.
The Trojans were awful in the first half on Friday night, falling behind Patterson 12-0 at halftime, thanks to sloppy play and poor execution.
But in the second half, Central Lafourche stabilized itself and dominated, roaring to a 22-12 win – the second-straight season the Trojans beat the Lumberjacks to kick off the season.
“We weren’t worried (at halftime),” Menard said. “I told the kids, ‘That’s about as bad as you can play, and you’re only down 12-0.’ We got ourselves together, made some adjustments and walked away with the win.”
For the Trojans, a lot of those adjustments had to come on the offensive side of the ball.
Central Lafourche was woeful offensively in the first half, generating just 41 total yards, while coughing up possession twice.
The Jacks took advantage of the miscues, taking first a 6-0 and then a 12-0 lead on touchdowns from receiver Jordan Butler and then halfback Dajon Richard to quiet the home-standing Trojans crowd.
“That was maybe as poorly as we’ve played since I’ve been here, to tell you the truth,” Menard said.
But in the second half, Central Lafourche righted its ship, getting on the board first when quarterback Jake Allemand hit receiver Gage Bourg on a touchdown strike to cut the lead to 12-7.
Allemand later added two more touchdown passes to push the Trojans in front – a lead which held up because of a dominant defensive effort.
“I thought we did an excellent job on that side of the ball,” Menard said. “Patterson had some athletes and we did a good job limiting their big plays and getting off the field on third downs.”
With the win, Central Lafourche is now 1-0 on the season.
The Trojans will face a stiff test in Week 2 – a road tilt with the red-hot Vandebilt Terriers.
That game is on the road and will kickoff at 7 p.m. on Friday night.
The Trojans beat Vandebilt in overtime last season.
Posted on Sun, September 4, 2016
by The Lafourche Gazette