In winning the 3A crown and beginning the season as the class' top-ranked team, Lutcher had won 14 straight games, but once again, the Gators had their kryptonite.

For the past two seasons, nobody has been able to beat the Lutcher Bulldogs. Well, nobody but the St. Amant Gators.

In 2015, Lutcher only lost one game in their impressive run to a ninth state championship. That loss was a thrilling 1-point defeat in The Pit against St. Amant.

After heralded quarterback Jontre Kirklin orchestrated a late touchdown drive, the Gator defense stood tall and stopped the Bulldogs' ensuing 2-point try to hang on for the 21-20 victory.

Lutcher hadn't lost a game since.

In winning the 3A crown and beginning the season as the class' top-ranked team, Lutcher had won 14 straight games, but once again, the Gators had their kryptonite.

In an exciting back-and-forth shootout that saw St. Amant trailing late, senior quarterback Hayden Mallory led his team downfield, and a Cade Nelson touchdown run with less than a minute remaining gave the Gators the gritty 36-34 road victory.

The two teams were tied 6-6 early after each offense drove more than 70 yards on their opening possessions and Mallory and Kirklin each threw touchdown passes.

The Gators took their first lead of the game when they spanned 60 yards and Nelson scored from 12 yards out.

St. Amant later kept a drive alive by rolling the dice. A successful fake punt led to another touchdown pass by Mallory to give the Gators their biggest lead of the game at 20-6.

Lutcher answered with a 50-yard drive that culminated in a 15-yard touchdown strike from Kirklin to Tariq Belvin to cut the deficit to 20-13.

However, the Gators went back up double-digits for halftime as Briggs Bourgeois nailed a 42-yard field goal to stretch the lead to 23-13.

Starting the second half in a hole, Lutcher showed the resolve of a state champion.

On the opening kickoff, Belvin exploded for 72 yards. It set up Kirklin taking it in himself on a four-yard run to cut the deficit to 23-20.

When Lutcher got the ball back, Kirklin ignited the best Bulldog drive since the second quarter.

Lutcher marched 82 yards in 15 plays and took their first lead of the night when Kirklin hit highly-touted receiver Al'Dontre Davis for an 11-yard score to put them up 27-23.

Facing their first deficit of the game, St. Amant never blinked.

The Gators put together a 67-yard drive, and with time running low in the third, they regained a 30-27 advantage with a 20-yard touchdown run by Nelson.

To start the fourth quarter, kick coverage once again became St. Amant's bugaboo as Davis broke loose on a 74-yard return.

With the short field, Davis was rewarded. Kirklin hit him for a 23-yard score to give the Bulldogs a 34-30 lead.

The score remained until late when Mallory got the offense moving.

He hit Jacob Cheatwood for 40 yards to get the Gators down to the Lutcher 29 with just over a minute remaining.

To complete the seven-play, 80-yard drive, Nelson ran in an eight-yard score with just 47 seconds remaining.

The Gator defense was then able to make a stop as Ben Parker picked off Kirklin. The turnover allowed St. Amant to seal away the 36-34 victory.

The amazing offensive showcase saw the teams combine for 899 yards.

Kirklin collected 386 total yards and five touchdowns, while Mallory went 27-43 for 244 yards and two scores.

Prior to the game, Nelson had been the second back in the Gator offense as he complimented starter Mark Darby.

With Darby out with an injury, Nelson got his opportunity to start, and he took full advantage. Nelson was an absolute workhorse--carrying the ball 35 times for a whopping 240 yards and three touchdowns.

The victory pushed the Gators to a perfect 3-0 for the second straight season.

This week, they'll host a familiar face when they meet Woodlawn--a former member of District 5-5A.