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Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Tarpons fall to Hahnville, but still reach 5A Playoffs

Tarpons fall to Hahnville, but still reach 5A Playoffs

It was a tale of two halves for South Lafourche’s football team on Friday night against Hahnville. The Tarpons controlled play with its defense in the opening half and ran the football successfully to take a 13-7 halftime lead.

But things fell apart in the second half, which allowed the Tigers to send South Lafourche home disappointed.

Hahnville scored 23-straight points out of halftime to grab firm control of the game. Once in the lead, the Tigers held on to secure a 30-20 victory.

The loss dropped South Lafourche to 5-5 on the season.

“It was kind of weird because I thought we had momentum at halftime, and I thought we were really doing a lot of things well – especially offensively,” South Lafourche coach Dennis Skains said. “But in the second half, for whatever reason, we just couldn’t keep it going on that side, and then the defense had some breakdowns, as well. It’s frustrating because we really liked what we were doing and for whatever reason, it just didn’t go our way.”

Things started out smoothly for Hahnville in the early minutes of the game. The Tigers struck first on a 63-yard drive that was capped with a five-yard run by quarterback Dylan Keller to put Hahnville ahead 7-0 early in the game.

But South Lafourche dominated the rest of the first half with bruising offense and dominant defense.

The Tarpons cut the lead to 7-6 in the second quarter on a 14-yard run by senior Peyton Guidry. They then took a 13-7 lead on their next drive when Guidry struck again and took the ball into the end zone from 3 yards out with 23 seconds before halftime.

But out of halftime, Hahnville rallied and took control of the game. The Tigers scored a touchdown and added a safety to tilt the game in their favor with nine minutes to play in the game.

Once in control, they never looked back, adding a couple more touchdowns to go ahead 30-13.

Keller and halfback Lynn Simmons were the main culprits in the offensive surge – the duo combining to rush for 270 yards for Hahnville.

The Tarpons cut the lead to its final margin on a late touchdown pass from quarterback Dominick Fillinich to tight end Dominic Pitre with a minute to play – far too late to have an impact on the outcome of the game.

“It’s disappointing, obviously. There’s no doubt about that,” Skains said. “I think the first series coming out of half was important – it always is. We got the ball first. We had a penalty that sort of stalled out our offensive drive. Then on defense, we had them in a third and long and we broke down and we lost containment with our defensive end and the quarterback made a big play. Little things like that broke our momentum and allowed them to turn the game in their favor.”

Even with the loss, South Lafourche will reach the Class 5A state playoffs. The Tarpons earned the No. 25-seed in the 32-team tournament to decide a state champion.

South Lafourche will travel on Friday night to take on No. 8 Barbe in Lake Charles.

The Bucs boast a dominant passing offense that features LSU commitment Trey Quinn – one of the best statistical receivers in the history of Louisiana prep football.

Skains said the Bucs will present a stiff challenge to South Lafourche, but that the Tarpons love to play top-notch opponents.

“We’re blessed. Our kids love situations like this. They love to line up and play the best,” Skains said. “If we tell them that Barbe has a really good quarterback and a really good receiver, our kids will look forward to that challenge. Barbe is talented and they will be a very tough opponent. But we will go into every football game we play expecting to win – this one included.”


Trojans fall to Thibodaux, eliminated from playoff contention

While South Lafourche’s players and coaches spent the weekend preparing for the playoffs, Central Lafourche’s football team looked back on what could have been.

The Trojans knew going into Friday night’s game with Thibodaux that they needed to win in order to reach the playoffs. But Central Lafourche fell behind 16-0 in the first quarter and never recovered, dropping a 37-14 game to their cross-parish rivals.

With the loss, the Trojans’ season ends with a 4-6 record – one win shy of what the team needed to reach the postseason.

Thibodaux’s athletes overwhelmed Central Lafourche from the get-go.

The Tigers struck first, stopping Central Lafourche and then driving down the field on a five-play drive capped by a 20-yard touchdown run by Donta Johnson. A 2-point conversion made the game 8-0.

After another stop, flanker Jason Richard helped Thibodaux stretch the lead to 16-0, on a 18-yard touchdown reception from Tigers’ quarterback Peyton Bonvillain.

The Trojans fought back and made the game 16-8 in the second quarter when quarterback Chandler Richard hit halfback Da’Quan Gray for a touchdown. Gray added the 2-point try.

But Thibodaux answered right back with two scores before halftime to send the game to halftime with a 30-8 lead.

The Tigers never looked back in the second half and easily stayed on top to secure the victory.

With the win, Thibodaux pushed itself to 6-4. The Tigers will travel to play Zachary in the opening round of the playoffs.