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Sunday, March 24, 2019

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Tarpons fall to Barbe in opening round of playoffs

Tarpons fall to Barbe in opening round of playoffs

It looked for a quarter like No. 25 South Lafourche could upset No. 8 Barbe.

But when senior halfback Jake Williams went down with an apparent ankle injury, so went the Tarpons’ chances of advancing in the Class 5A State Playoffs.

With Williams on the field, the Tarpons rolled to an early 14-7 first-quarter lead. But once the injury occurred, the South Lafourche offense sputtered for the rest of the night, which allowed the Buccaneers to grab control and seal a 42-16 win.

The loss ends South Lafourche’s season with a 5-6 record.

“Jake’s injury was huge - that killed us,” South Lafourche coach Dennis Skains. We saw it when he went down earlier in the season and then came back. The offense just doesn’t run the same without him. … We had it going early and he was moving the chains for us. We never kept that same rhythm when he was on the sidelines.”

Friday night’s game started with a bang.

The Tarpons won the toss and deferred possession to the second half - a decision that gave the ball to Barbe to start the game.

On the first play from scrimmage, South Lafourche got a first-hand taste at how good the Buccaneers’ offense is.

Barbe quarterback Kennon Fontenot found Bucs receiver and LSU commitment Trey Quinn on a 67-yard bomb through double coverage.

At first glance, it looked like the pass would be intercepted by the Tarpons’ defense. But Quinn emerged from the pack with the football, scrambling into the end zone to put Barbe up 7-0.

But the opening score was the only fireworks for Barbe in the opening minutes.

That’s thanks to Williams.

South Lafourche answered Barbe’s touchdown with a score of its own - a nine-yard touchdown burst from Williams to level the game at 7-all.

After forcing a fumble on Barbe’s next offensive possession, South Lafourche pounded the ball down the Bucs’ throat again - this time capping the drive on a short touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead.

But on the end of that drive, Williams went down with the ankle injury.

And things were never the same.

The Bucs’ explosive and diverse offense scored multiple times to close the first half with complete control of the game.

With the big lead, Barbe played more conservative in the second half, but South Lafourche was never able to bring the game close.

Skains said little mistakes and inexperience cost South Lafourche in the game. He added that this scenario was somewhat of the story for the 2013 season.

“We started off well, but we just couldn’t eliminate the mistakes,” he said. “It’s been like that this year. Some games, we’re unbeatable and some games we just can’t do it.”

The coach added that he will miss the team’s 20-plus seniors - a solid group that consists of standout players like Williams, linebacker Payton Guidry and defensive tackle Mason Boudreaux, among others.

“Those guys will be missed,” Skains said. “I loved this year’s senior group. They always did everything we asked. They bought in, and they are a very special group of kids.”

Friday night’s game was a historic night for Barbe.

Quinn broke the national record for career receiving yards in the victory, surpassing the 6,396 career yards mark with a 216-yard night against the Tarpons.

Skains said Quinn is among the best receivers he’s ever seen.

He added that he will be a solid collegiate player at LSU.

“He’s legit,” Skains said. “There’s a reason LSU likes him. He does a lot of the little things right. In addition to being a great athlete, which he is, he does so many things well on the football field. His precision and his route running are all crisp. We saw it all tonight. He’s a heck of a player.”