South Lafourche head football coach Dennis Skains has said all season that he wants to see his young, inexperienced defense improve to become a unit on par with some of the top-notch units he’s coached in his career.
Though still a work in progress, the Tarpons’ defensive progression was apparent in Friday night’s 29-14 win against Terrebonne.
The South Lafourche defense forced five turnovers in Friday night’s win, which thrust the Tarpons to 2-3 on the season, including 1-1 in district play.
In addition to the turnovers, South Lafourche was also clutch in key situations, holding the Tigers out of the end zone on a pair of key goal line situations to secure the win – Skains’ third-straight against Terrebonne.
“I’m proud of our defense,” Skains said. “We had some good end zone stands, but we’re the ones who let them get down there in the first place, so we’d better buckle down and keep them out of there. They had three trips in the red zone, and they only got in once, and it was on a fourth down, so we made them earn it. We’ve talked all season about getting better and continuing to work. I think some of the strides that we’ve made were on display tonight.”
Friday night’s game was a hard-hitting defensive battle.
South Lafourche got on the scoreboard first late in the first quarter when junior Harvey Allen scored the first of his three rushing touchdowns to give the Tarpons a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers fought back and tied the game up early in the second quarter when senior receiver Devon Madison scampered 38 yards through the defense and into the end zone.
But that was just about all of the luck Terrebonne would have offensively in Friday night’s game, as the Tarpons’ defense bent, but didn’t break throughout.
Allen scored his second touchdown of the game just before halftime, also taking in the 2-point conversion to put South Lafourche ahead 15-7.
After a turnover-filled third quarter, South Lafourche ballooned that lead to 22-7 late in the third quarter on a 10-yard scamper from junior halfback Jacob Jackson.
Normally a defensive lineman, Jackson played primarily on offense in the win, adding a new dimension to the team’s hurry-up rushing attack.
The Tarpons drove the dagger in during the last minute of the third quarter after Daniel Griffin returned an interception to the Tigers’ 1-yard-line, setting up Allen’s third score of the night to make the game 29-7.
Terrebonne fought back and scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to its final margin. But the Tigers squandered chances to cut the lead late, sealing the win for South Lafourche.
Unfortunately, the physical tone of Friday night’s game meant injuries were had on both sides. Terrebonne quarterback Brett Bergeron went down early in the game after taking a hard hit on a pass play, breaking his arm.
On the same play, Tarpons’ safety Dominick Fillinich suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out for the remainder of the game.
During handshakes, Terrebonne coach Gary Hill shouted an expletive slur toward Skains because he said the Tarpons played “dirty” football in the win and the team’s hit on Bergeron was done “purposely – I know it was.”
After the game, Hill’s rant continued.
“To get a broken arm on a late hit isn’t a misfortunate event – it’s just something that shouldn’t happen,” Hill said. “I can’t repeat in the press what I told him (during handshakes). You heard what I said. I didn’t tell him anything too bad. I fought for my kids. It was something that he needed to hear. It wasn’t to set up a fight. It wasn’t to do anything except let him know something that he needed to hear. I’ve got a kid with a broken arm and I’ve been to the clinic. I’ve heard him speak. I know how he coaches. I don’t think there’s any place for guys like him in football.”
Skains fired back on Saturday morning and said he’ll let Hill handle Terrebonne’s football program, and he’ll keep his focus on South Lafourche.
A view of the replay from Friday’s game shows no intent to injure on the play Hill questioned from South Lafourche, and the play was nothing more than an unfortunate freak accident.
“They kept putting (Bergeron) in shotgun without a back and watching him get hit over and over without doing anything to help protect him,” Skains said. “We teach our kids to play hard. We teach our kids to be physical.
We’re never wanting anyone to get injured. We’re going to let Gary Hill run Gary Hill’s program, and we’re going to focus on ours. We played better and got a much-needed win. Now, we’re ready to keep working and get ready for a tough game with Central Lafourche.”
Trojans fall in overtime
There was no postgame drama in Central Lafourche’s game with East St. John on Friday night. But 48 minutes of football wasn’t enough to decide a winner on the field.
The Trojans and Wildcats played an overtime thriller in Mathews – easily the game of the night in our area. Unfortunately for the Trojans, the Wildcats had the ball last and scored the final blow on a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback Xavier Lewis to secure a 21-18 win for East St. John.
The Trojans got the ball first in overtime and drilled a short field goal to take a 18-15 lead.
“It was a great football game,” Trojans coach Keith Menard said. “In the end, their great athlete just made the last play. It’s a game we wanted to win, but I think we became a better football team tonight. We learned some lessons that we can take with us for the rest of the season.”
To get to overtime, Central Lafourche had to make a fierce rally.
The Wildcats took a 15-6 lead midway through the third quarter after Lewis punched in a 16-yard touchdown run on a fourth down play. Down nine points, the Trojans showed some courage rallying to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Central cut the lead to 15-12 late in the third quarter when halfback Thomas Wesley scampered in for a 5-yard touchdown run. The Trojans missed the extra point.
After stopping the Wildcats on their next drive, kicker Logan Maronge drilled a short field goal to tie the game at 15 – a score that held through the completion of regulation.
In overtime, Maronge struck first and sunk another field goal to give Central an 18-15 lead.
But on a night where the Trojans’ defense was dynamite, Central Lafourche couldn’t get that one, last stop, surrendering a touchdown and victory to East St. John.
The Trojans are now 3-2 on the season. They will travel to South Lafourche to take on the Tarpons Friday night.
Posted on Mon, October 6, 2014
by Casey Gisclair, Contributing Writer