The Thibodaux High School football team is a run-first offensive attack – a squad that has gashed opponents for 300-plus rushing yards several times this season.
But in Thursday night’s game against South Lafourche, the Tarpons loaded the box and forced the Tigers to throw the football.
They did so successfully, beating their cross-parish rivals for the second-straight time.
Normally a run-first threat, Tigers’ senior quarterback Peyton Bonvillain showed that he can also be lethal with his arm, completing 7-of-10 passes for more than 200 yards and a touchdown in Thursday night’s game.
His big numbers came on a night when the Tarpons’ offense struggled to find its rhythm, allowing Thibodaux to cruise to an easy 35-0 win.
The Tigers improved to 8-1 on the season with the victory. South Lafourche is now 4-5 with just one game to play.
“When you gameplan for them, you know that you’ve got to bottle up the run, and that’s exactly what we did,” South Lafourche head football coach Dennis Skains said. “We loaded up the front and we took some chances. We knew Peyton Bonvillain is a heck of a quarterback. We knew that he could throw it. We just knew that if we didn’t take some chances to stop their running game that it was going to be very tough to stop them. We did that, but they made enough plays to get points on the board to win the game.”
For the parish rivals, most of the opening quarter was a battle of defenses. The Tarpons got the football first and got a first down on a fake punt before having to punt the football to Thibodaux.
On the Tigers’ first possession, the Tarpons’ defense held firm – a three and out drive that ended in a punt.
The Tarpons got the football back mid-way through the first quarter and pushed the ball to midfield, but couldn’t get closer than that, handing it back to Thibodaux, who did the first damage of the night.
On a third down play and with Thibodaux driving, Bonvillain rolled out of the pocket and delivered a perfect strike into traffic – a 26-yard touchdown pass to receiver Elray Duncan to give Thibodaux a 7-0 lead with 23 seconds to play in the first quarter.
After another empty South Lafourche drive, Bonvillain and Duncan gave the Tigers control for good on a 57-yard touchdown pass from quarterback-to-receiver that gave Thibdaux a 14-0 lead with 7:38 to go in the first half.
The Tigers opened the floodgates in the final minutes of the second half, scoring two late touchdowns to take a 28-0 halftime lead.
The Tigers’ final score came midway through the third quarter when Bonvillain finally found success running the football, scampering into the end zone from 18 yards out to push the game to its final margin.
The loss marked a second-straight shutout for South Lafourche, which had fewer than 100 total yards for a second-straight game.
Skains didn’t make excuses for the effort, but said junior quarterback Harvey Allen missed practice all week because of a tender ankle. The Tarpons also lost halfback Jacob Jackson to an ankle injury in the game.
“He’s not the same – I think that was pretty apparent,” Skains said. “But we knew that if we won this one, we’d pretty much automatically be in the playoffs. He’s fighting – he’s doing the best that he can. But he’s not as shifty – he’s not the same guy.”
The Tarpons will finish their regular season with a home game against Hahnville – a game the team likely must win to reach the playoffs.
Trojans fall to Hahnville; need week 10 win
The Central Lafourche game plan for Week 10 can easily be summarized in just five words: Win or miss the playoffs.
The Trojans absolutely have to attain victory against Thibodaux on Friday night after falling 38-13 against Hahnville last Friday – a loss that dropped the Trojans to 4-5 on the season.
Even if Central defeats Thibodaux, there is no guarantee that the Trojans will reach the postseason – it all depends on how the power rankings formula shakes out.
But with a loss, the team will be eliminated from contention, as the Trojans currently sit outside of the Top 32 in the Class 5A standings.
“It is what it is – we have to go out and win a ballgame now,” Trojans coach Keith Menard said. “We have no one to look at but ourselves. We’ve had plenty of opportunities. Now, we have to put it all together and try and beat Thibodaux, which won’t be easy, because those guys are a heck of a football team that is well coached.”
For Central, Friday night’s game against Hahnville was doomed from the start.
The Tigers went ahead 7-0 on the first play of the game when returner Ricky Preston took the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
From there, the Trojans got the ball and fumbled, allowing Hahnville to get the ball back and hit a 59-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Austin Perron to receiver Brandon Singleton to go ahead 14-0 midway in the first quarter.
Central Lafourche tried to rally back, intercepting a Hahnville pass on the Tigers’ next offensive drive. But it all went for naught when the Trojans’ drive stalled and the Tigers pushed down the field to go up 21-0 early in the second quarter.
Central Lafourche cut Hahnville’s lead to 21-7 before halftime when quarterback Austin Aucoin connected with Thomas Wesley on a touchdown pass to bring the game to 21-7.
But the Trojans never seriously challenged from there, falling behind 28-7 and then 31-7 in the third quarter when Hahnville punched in another touchdown and then a short field goal.
In the fourth quarter, Central Lafourche scored a touchdown when Wesley took the ball into the end zone from 22 yards out.
But Hahnville got the last laugh when it recovered a fumble for a score late in the game to seal a 38-13 victory.
“Turnovers killed us,” Menard said. “You can’t lose the turnover battle and the special teams battle if you expect to beat a team like them.”
The Trojans will host the Thibodaux Tigers on Friday night – senior night festivities for Central Lafourche.
Posted on Tue, November 4, 2014
by Casey Gisclair, Contributing Writer