South Lafourche’s young football team is learning on the fly, gradually picking up steam as they cruise through the beginning portions of the season.
Never was that more evident than in Friday night’s win against South Plaquemines.
In the opening drive of the game, the Hurricanes took the Tarpons by storm, turning a third and long play into a 55-yard screen pass for a touchdown and an 8-0 lead. But when South Plaquemines tried the play again later in the game, it was stuffed – a sign of South Lafourche’s continued slow and steady growth. With that growth, the Tarpons’ offense and special teams made plenty enough big plays to control the game and secure a 49-8 win.
“We’re still learning,” Skains said after the win. “We got better tonight. We got better this week in practice. I think we have so many guys out there who just don’t have much varsity experience, so we have some growing pains. The speed is different. The size of the players are different. It’s unfortunate that in our sport, sometimes the best way to learn something is by messing up and making a mistake. But we had a tough first game and we made some mistakes tonight, as well. But we’re showing that we’re learning and progressing – that’s the most important thing.”
For South Plaquemines, it was special teams that derailed the team’s hopes at competing on Friday night in Galliano.
After allowing the touchdown drive on the opening possession of the game, South Lafourche fired back just three plays later when junior quarterback Harvey Allen scampered 61 yards down the field and into the end zone. After a successful 2-point conversion, the game was tied at 8 with still 10 minutes to play in the first quarter.
Then the special teams gaffes started to take place. After forcing the Hurricanes to punt deep inside their own territory, South Lafourche defender Dylan Grabert blocked South Plaquemines punter Kendrick Smith’s effort, scooping up the ball and taking it into the end zone for a touchdown. After kicker Brannon Lee's successful extra point, the Tarpons went ahead 15-8.
Two drives later, South Lafourche forced another stop and blocked another South Plaquemines punt – this time the ball rolling out of the back of the end zone for a safety to put South Lafourche ahead 17-8.
With the possession off the safety, Allen hit junior receiver Shak Dillon on a 33-yard touchdown bomb. After Lee’s extra point, the Tarpons led 24-8 at the end of the first quarter.
With a big lead in hand, the Tarpons relied on more special teams magic to put the game away. The Tarpons blocked another punt midway through the second quarter, this time with Henri Terrebonne scooping it up and running in for a touchdown.
Two drives later, the team got its fourth block, which sailed out the end zone for a safety and a 32-8 lead.
“That’s something we really put a strong emphasis on – special teams,” Skains said. “We did a great job there tonight. We really want to be strong in that area. We’re working hard with that unit – harder than we have in years past.”
South Lafourche went ahead 39-8 at halftime when senior Justin Doucet scored on a short run. Out of the lockers, South Lafourche iced the game for good when Allen hit receiver Tony Bailey on a deep touchdown pass to make the score 46-8.
The final score came late in the game when kicker Kevin Hernandez drilled a 32-yard field goal.
With the win, South Lafourche improves to 1-1 on the season. They will take on Shaw at home on Friday night.
“We know Shaw has a good football team,” Skains said. “We will get back to work, focus on having a good week of practice and just continuing to get better from there.”
CL overcomes sluggish start, rolls to win
Not many high school teams have their homecoming on the second night of the prep football season. But Central Lafourche did just that this weekend against J.S. Clark, and it worked. The team rolled to 2-0 on the season.
The Trojans pounded their New Orleans-based foe on Friday night, roaring to a 37-7 victory. Elite halfbacks Da’Quan Gray and Thomas Wesley did most of the legwork in the victory, combining for four of the Trojans’ touchdowns in what Gray described as a total team win.
“It feels good to be 2-0,” he said. “We did it as a team tonight. My line was great. Our defense was great. It was a good win.”
For the Trojans, the first half of Friday night’s game wasn’t pretty. Central Lafourche took a 3-0 lead when kicker Brader Dufrene nailed a field goal from 40 yards out. After that kick, the teams traded touchdowns to close the first half. The first came from Wesley, who pushed back the defense and into the end zone to go ahead 10-0. The second came from Clark defensive back Johnny Myers, who stepped in front of Trojans’ quarterback Austin Aucoin’s pass and took it into the end zone to make the score 10-7 at halftime.
But out of the lockers, Gray and Wesley took over and pummeled Clark’s defense into submission. That duo, combined with sophomore back Nelton Allen combined for four touchdowns in the final half to turn a three-point halftime lead into a blowout.
The Trojans will be home again this coming Friday for a third-straight week in a home tilt with Mandeville – easily the team’s stiffest challenge this season.
Congratulations also go out to Ms. Courtney LeBlanc, who was named Homecoming Queen during halftime festivities.
Posted on Tue, September 16, 2014
by Casey Gisclair Contributing Writer