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Tarpons, Trojans fall in must-win games

Tarpons, Trojans fall in must-win games

For the first time in quite a while, there will not be any postseason play for both South Lafourche and Central Lafourche high schools.

Both the Tarpons and Trojans needed to win their final regular season games on Friday to clinch a spot in the state playoffs, which begin next week.

But both teams fell flat in their efforts. The Trojans lost 48-29 to East St. John and the Tarpons fell 31-21 at South Terrebonne – defeats that ended each team’s season short of its preseason goals.

 

TARPONS COULDN’T CATCH BREAKS AT SOUTH TERREBONNE

Turnovers and penalties have plagued South Lafourche all season. 

Guess what?

They were both a serious problem again on Friday night against the Gators.

The Tarpons turned over the ball three times, while committing more than a half-dozen pre-snap penalties – miscues that led directly to Gators points on the other end of the field.

The end result was South Terrebonne taking a 31-7 lead in the fourth quarter – an advantage that the Tarpons cut into late, but still fell short of in a 31-21 defeat.

The loss ends the Tarpons season with a 3-7 record.

“The same mistakes that we’ve made all season, we made in this game,” South Lafourche coach Brandon Nowlin said. “It’s disappointing. We didn’t expect the season to go the way that it did. We had higher expectations for ourselves. But we just couldn’t quite ever get out of our own way, and it ended up defining our year.”

The Tarpons actually started out the game OK.

The Gators scored first on a short field goal to take a 3-0 lead in the first quarter.

But after those points, the Tarpons drove down the field and scored a touchdown on a quarterback sneak from Jaydon Cheramie to take a 7-3 lead with 9:19 to go in the first half.

But the rest of the second quarter and most of the rest of the game was owned by the Gators.

South Terrebonne forced a Tarpon turnover late in the second quarter near midfield, which it turned into points – a short run from Andre Blanchard to go on top 10-7 just before halftime. 

The Tarpons got the ball first to start the second half, but again turned it over – a tipped pass from Corbin Allen that was caught by Gators defender Allen Vizier. 

The end result was another score from Blanchard, which put the Gators up 17-7 in the third quarter.

“We just didn’t play well for a lot of the game,” Nowlin said. 

The tally went all the way up to 31-7 in the fourth quarter when the Tarpons finally found life.

South Lafourche scored two-straight fourth quarter touchdowns – the first on a bomb from Cheramie to DeMarcus Caine and the second on a run from Corbin Allen to bring the game to 31-21. 

South Lafourche even had another chance late – pushing the ball inside the Gators 10-yard-line to further cut into the lead.

But the Gators stiffened and forced a turnover on downs, which sealed the deal – an emotional win for a team that had a rough week after star defensive lineman Louis Blanchard suffered a severe neck injury on Monday after falling off a trampoline.

“I’m so proud of our kids,” South Terrebonne coach Richard Curlin said. “It would have been easy for us to lie down and get walked on, but we battled and found a way to get a good ending to our season.”

 

TROJANS FALL TO EAST ST. JOHN

For South Lafourche, turnovers and penalties have been a problem all year.

For Central Lafourche, it’s been big plays and inability to finish promising drives with touchdowns.

Both bad habits showed up again against the Wildcats.

The Trojans struggled to contain the Wildcats on Friday, surrendering countless explosive plays throughout the game. On the other end, the Trojans had a few of their own, but they didn’t always turn into touchdowns, which contributed to the Wildcats getting a 48-29 win.

The loss ends Central Lafourche’s season with a 4-6 record – a season that’s doubly disappointing, because the Trojans won four-straight games to start the season. 

“It’s really been something we’ve had to deal with all season, honestly,” Trojans coach Keith Menard said after the game. “It’s not a lack of effort. The kids competed. We never gave up, and these kids never do give up. We just couldn’t keep up with some of the advantages that they had around the field.”

The Trojans did have some success – especially on the offensive side of the ball.

Central led 8-7 after the first quarter, and consistently moved the ball throughout the game against the Wildcats defense.

But for every positive the Trojans had, the Wildcats had an answer – namely receiver C.J. Turner, who had four touchdowns in the game – all after the Trojans got scores of their own. 

East St. John led 21-15 at halftime, but the Trojans scored first in the third quarter to take a 22-21 lead.

But on the next drive, the Wildcats successfully converted a fake punt, which gave them control for good. 

The Wildcats scored on that drive, then got a pick-six, which put them up 34-22. 

The Trojans got another score – a short run by Nelton Allen, which kept the game close, but the Wildcats weren’t going to be contained, and Turner found the end zone again to put the game away for good. 

The loss ends the Trojans season with six-straight losses. 

Menard said the team’s younger players have to find a way to snap that negative momentum in the offseason.

“We will work hard and turn it around,” Menard said. “Our kids never gave up. They never stopped battling.”