The playoffs are going to start a week early for the Central Lafourche football team.
The Trojans squandered a late lead and lost 27-23 to Terrebonne on Friday night – a setback that marks the fifth-straight loss for Central Lafourche – dating back to a Week 4 victory against South Lafourche.
But all is not lost.
According to power ratings math, there’s still a possibility for the Trojans to make the Class 5A State Playoffs – assuming that they beat East St. John next Friday. Trojans coach Keith Menard said his team will treat the matchup with the Wildcats like a playoff game, in that the Trojans know it’s a ‘win or go home’ situation.
“That’s exactly right,” Menard said. “For us, the playoffs start early. It’s been a rough set of weeks, but we still have the opportunity to send our seniors to the playoffs. We’re going to stay focused this week, and we want to keep getting better. We’re focused on us this week and getting us better. If we do that, we think we have a good chance against a real good opponent.”
The Trojans nearly tasted victory on Friday night.
The two teams struggled offensively in the first half – a rare, low-scoring half for a Trojans team that is known for both scoring and allowing a lot of points.
Terrebonne struck first on an 83-yard touchdown run from quarterback Keshawn James, which gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
After that, the Trojans kicked a short field goal to make the score 7-3 – a Terrebonne advantage that was carried into halftime.
“Offensively, we just started slow,” Menard said. “We couldn’t sustain drives, and we couldn’t get anything going.”
In the second half, both teams found their rhythm.
The Trojans scored two-straight touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 16-7 lead into the final quarter.
The first score was a short pass from quarterback Jake Allemand to halfback Nelton Allen. The second was an Allen handoff – a five-yard scamper which put the Trojans up by two scores.
But it didn’t last.
Terrebonne battled back with a vengeance in the fourth quarter, answering the Trojans scores with two of their own to take a 20-16 lead with nine minutes left in the game.
After the teams exchanged several punts, the Trojans appeared to find the score it needed to win – a one-play, 43-yard touchdown capped with a pass from Allemand to Bourg to put the Trojans on top 23-20 with 1:36 left in the game.
But Terrebonne never faltered.
Facing fourth down and 12 from around the 50-yard-line, James rolled out, and fired the ball down the field deep to receiver Anthony Ruffin, who caught the pass, shook a few defenders and then pushed into the end zone to get Terrebonne the game-winning score.
The Trojans had an opportunity with a couple seconds left, but a late pass from Allemand was picked off – also by Ruffin, which sealed the team.
Menard said he’s proud of how hard his team played, but said the Trojans have to do little things better to win close games – especially on Friday against East St. John, another game that’s expected to be close throughout.
“We played hard,” Menard said. “We just didn’t finish it. They made the last play at the end with no time left.”
TARPONS FALL AT ASSUMPTION
South Lafourche is about out of healthy players, and it showed on Friday night against Assumption.
The battered Tarpons fell to the Mustangs 30-14 in Week 9 – a loss that clinches the District 7-4A Championship for Assumption for the second-straight season.
South Lafourche coach Brandon Nowlin said his team is depleted, and is without several linemen and skill guys – a detriment that’s greatly impacting the way the team plays.
“We’re about out of bullets,” Nowlin said. “We’re out of guns. We’re out of a lot of things right now. I thought we competed hard, and I liked the way that the kids never quit. But we just didn’t have enough. This is changing how we practice, how we prepare and our personnel on Friday nights. It’s impacting everything throughout the depth chart.”
Not much went right for the Tarpons on Friday night.
South Lafourche forced an early turnover, then hammered home a chip shot field goal from Davin Richoux to take a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter – the team’s only advantage of the night.
But after that, Assumption controlled the rest of the first-half action, using a couple touchdowns and then a field goal of their own to take a 17-3 lead late in the second quarter.
Before halftime, South Lafourche forced a fumble and used a short field to trim the lead on another Richoux field goal – a score that made the game 17-6 at halftime.
In the second half, the Tarpons defense stiffened, forcing several third-quarter stops to give the team’s offense a chance.
But the Tarpons couldn’t avoid the turnover bug. On two-straight drives, the Tarpons got deep into Mustangs territory and then turned over the ball – miscues that allowed the Mustangs to add a couple scores to take a 30-6 lead.
Late in the game, South Lafourche added its lone touchdown of the game, but it wasn’t enough, sealing the win for the Mustangs.
South Lafourche will close its regular season at South Terrebonne – a game the Tarpons must win to have a shot at making the playoffs.
Posted on Sat, October 29, 2016
by The Lafourche Gazette