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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Tarpons cruise into the playoffs

Tarpons cruise into the playoffs

The South Lafourche football team didn’t show any ill effects from Week 9’s heartbreaking loss to Assumption. The Tarpons took out all of their frustrations and regrets on South Terrebonne to close the 2015 regular season with a bang.

The Tarpons swarmed the Gators 27-0 on Thursday night – a game moved up 24 hours to avoid forecasted severe weather on Friday.

South Lafourche coach Dennis Skains said the Tarpons were far from perfect, but played well enough to win.

The victory was extra special because it came on Senior Night – the final home regular season game of the season.

Skains said the Class of 2016 will always hold a special place in his heart, and he’s proud of the group for the contributions they’ve made to the program.

The Tarpons finish the regular season with a 6-4 record.

“They’re my first group that I get to see all the way through. They were freshmen when I got here,” Skains said. “They’re great kids. They’ll be a group that I’ll always remember. They’re special. There’s some darn good football players in this group.”

The first half of Thursday night’s game was a bit of a bore.

Both South Lafourche and South Terrebonne struggled to find footing, punting the ball back and forth to one another for almost the entire half.

The lone exception came late in the first quarter when junior quarterback Jaydon Cheramie capped a long South Lafourche drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. After a missed 2-point conversion try, the Tarpons led 6-0.
In the second quarter, neither team had any luck offensively, which sent the game to halftime with the Tarpons holding that narrow advantage.

“Give South Terrebonne credit,” Skains said. “That first half was all them. They played really well.”
Out of halftime, South Lafourche got it going and sealed the deal.

In the first drive of the second half, the Tarpons gashed South Terrebonne, using a run-heavy drive to get all the way to the end zone – a 78-yard drive capped by a one-yard touchdown run from sophomore Corbin Allen.

The Tarpons ran to the right side of the offensive line over and over again on the drive, finding big-time success in the process.

Skains said that was by design.

South Terrebonne has one of the best defensive linemen in Louisiana – big, 270-pound Louis Blanchard. Keeping the ball away from him was a priority throughout the game.

“We just ran it on the opposite side of where he was lined up,” Skains said. “It’s not anything more complex than that. That’s just what we did. He’s unreal. We couldn’t block him. He got my vote for All-District tonight.”

After the teams swapped several empty possessions, South Lafourche finally iced the game with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter when Cheramie hit receiver Shak Dillon for a 61-yard touchdown grab to make it 20-0.
After another stop, the Tarpons scored again in the final seconds to make it 27-0 on a pass from backup quarterback Nicholas Williford to Kayne Dore.

Skains said he would like to apologize to South Terrebonne football coach Richard Curlin for that play, stating that the Tarpons should have run the football and melted away the clock to end the game.

“I am embarrassed about our last play on offense,” Skains said. “I was so caught up trying to get our seniors the ball that I wasn’t thinking about the clock. That’s no excuse. South Terrebonne and Coach Curlin are a class act, and I know he would have kneeled on the ball in that situation. … I’m upset at myself for missing the opportunity to show respect to a coach who has had a lot more success than I have.”

With the win, the Tarpons earned their second winning season in Skains’ four-year tenure. The Tarpons will learn their seed and opponent in the playoffs on Friday.