For a lot of this season, South Lafourche’s kicking game has been shaky.
But late in the game on Friday night, the Tarpons got a good one when they needed it most, and it helped propel the Tarpons to a huge district victory.
The Tarpons beat Ellender 29-24 on Friday night – a game that was played on South Lafourche’s Senior Night Festivities.
Late in the fourth quarter, South Lafourche kicker Davin Richoux all-but sealed the deal when he drilled a short field goal to put the Tarpons on top 29-18 – an advantage that remained for the remainder of the game.
Tarpons coach Brandon Nowlin said he’d likely have not believed it if someone told him that a late field goal would be key in the win.
But South Lafourche will take it, and the win improves the team to 3-5 on the season and 2-1 in district play.
“We got it in all phases today, and I’m just so, so proud of our men,” Nowlin said. “Offensively, we’re banged up, and we had so many guys step up and contribute. Defensively, our coaching staff came up with a great scheme and we had a very nice plan to limit their big plays. And heck, on special teams, we made plays. Our kick coverage was great. We got a turnover in the kicking game. We made a huge kick to give ourselves a two-score game. It was a total team win.”
South Lafourche was beat up going into Friday’s game, and Coach Nowlin and his staff managed several players into and out of the game to preserve guys’ stamina for the entire 48 minutes.
Offensively, quarterback Jaydon Cheramie and halfback Corbin Allen both have sprained ankles, and backup quarterback Brock Bailleaux has a hurt thumb, which caused the Tarpons to use nearly a half-dozen players at quarterback throughout the game.
The lack of continuity showed – especially early. South Lafourche turned over the ball four times in the second quarter and trailed 12-6 before halftime.
But right before the half, the Tarpons got momentum when Bailleaux intercepted a pass with 1:31 to go in the second quarter.
From there, the Tarpons took the ball right down the field and scored on a short run by Allen, which tied the game at 12.
“It’s not easy to do what we did,” Nowlin said of playing several players at quarterback. “We were limited in our playbook and the things we could call. The kids stayed patient and focused and we picked and chose when to take our shots.”
In the second half, those shots started to fly.
Ellender scored first on a run-heavy drive to open the half to take an 18-12 lead in the third quarter.
But the rest of the game was all South Lafourche.
After the Patriots score, the Tarpons took the ball right down the field, taking the lead on a touchdown pass from Cheramie to Chandler LaFort – a pass which deflected off Bailleaux’s hands, then off a Patriots defender and then comfortably into LaFort’s hands.
Richoux’s extra point gave the Tarpons a 19-18 lead.
That lead grew just a few plays later when South Lafourche recovered a squib kick, then scored again in just three plays – all runs by Cheramie, which put the Tarpons up 26-18.
After a couple stops, South Lafourche opened the fourth quarter with a long, time-consuming drive, which stalled at Ellender’s 9-yard-line.
But Richoux capped it with a 24-yard field goal, which put the Tarpons on top 29-18 with three minutes to go – a kick, which virtually sealed the deal.
Ellender scored a late touchdown to bring the game to its final margin. But the Tarpons recovered an onsides kick, and ran out the clock to secure the win.
“It was a much-needed good feeling for our football team,” Nowlin said. “For us to get a chance to send out our seniors in that way, it was just very, very special.”
TROJANS FALL AT HAHNVILLE
While South Lafourche relished that good feeling of victory, Central Lafourche couldn’t quite get back into the winner’s circle.
The Trojans fell to Hahnville 49-24 on Friday night – a game that was decided by a slow start by Central Lafourche, which allowed the Tigers to take control.
The loss is the Trojans’ fourth-straight after a 4-0 start to the season.
But Central Lafourche coach Keith Menard said his team isn’t panicking, because they can still reach all of their goals in the final two weeks of the season.
“We said before the year that we wanted to have a winning season and we wanted to make the playoffs,” Menard said. “We’ve had a rough patch here, but if we win the last two, we will be able to reach both of our two goals. So we’re just focused on keeping everyone peaking so that we can play two great ballgames in the next two weeks.”
The Trojans actually scored first on Friday – a touchdown drive capped by a pass from Jake Allemand to David Robinson Jr.
But Hahnville dictated play for the rest of the half, scoring four-straight touchdowns to take a comfortable 28-6 lead at halftime.
In the final 24 minutes, Central Lafourche fought back, scoring 12-straight points to cut the lead from 28-6 to 28-18.
But after the initial surge, the Tigers took back control, using multiple big plays and touchdown drives to secure the win.
“We just couldn’t get over the hump,” Menard said. “We battled back, but we never could get all the way back in the ballgame.”
With the loss, Central Lafourche is now 4-4 on the season and 0-4 in district play.
The Trojans will stay on the road next week, and will take on Terrebonne – another team desperate for a win after five-straight losses.
Posted on Sun, October 23, 2016
by GAZETTE SPORTS REPORTS