Unbeaten Gators fall on losing end of wild shootout

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
St. Amant quarterback Cole Poirrier accounted for five of the Gators’ touchdowns in their loss to Woodlawn.

St. Amant’s offense put up 41 points and a whole lot of yards on Thursday night, but it still wasn’t good enough.

As great as the Gators were offensively, Woodlawn quarterback Rickie Collins was even better. In fact, he was better than any quarterback St. Amant’s played in a long, long time.

The Purdue commit showed why he’s been so heavily recruited, putting on an aerial assault that knocked the Gators out of the ranks of the unbeaten.

But early on, St. Amant looked like the better team.

On two separate occasions in the first quarter, Woodlawn fumbled away punts deep in their own territory. Both times, St. Amant took advantage with touchdown runs.

Quarterback Cole Poirrier scored from five yards out the first time, and then Joshua Morrise scored from four yards out to put the Gators up 14-0 late in the opening quarter.

But Woodlawn responded quickly as Collins threw two 71-yard touchdown passes—one to Jaylon Henry and the other to Clayton Adams—to tie the game.

After St. Amant regained the lead midway through the second, the Panthers answered in less than a minute. Collins connected with Henry for an 80-yard score to tie the contest once again.

The bombs kept falling for Collins. On Woodlawn’s next drive, he hit Henry again, this time for a 30-yard touchdown to give the Panthers their first lead at 28-21.

After St. Amant tied up the game, Woodlawn put together one final drive before the half. Collins hooked up with Henry once again for a nine-yard score to give the Panthers a 35-28 lead at the break.

On Woodlawn’s opening possession of the second half, it took its biggest lead of the game as Collins connected with Henry for an 18-yard touchdown to put the Panthers up 42-28.

After St. Amant cut it to a one-score deficit, Woodlawn extended the lead once again with a five-yard touchdown pass by Collins to make it 48-35 midway through the fourth quarter.

But the Gator offense wouldn’t go away. St. Amant quickly marched downfield, and with a 16-yard touchdown connection between Poirrier and Trace Forbes, the Gators got within 48-41 with a little more than five minutes remaining in the game.

With time running low, the Gator defense finally made a stop. St. Amant turned Woodlawn over on downs and took over with a chance to tie or win the contest.

But with 22 seconds remaining, Poirrier was picked off at midfield, ending the Gators’ opportunity for a comeback.

St. Amant simply had no answers for Collins as he completed 16 of 19 passes for an astounding 458 yards and seven touchdowns. 

Henry was just as unstoppable. He made 11 catches for a ridiculous 321 yards and five scores.

Poirrier kept the Gators in the game. He had a big two-way effort for St. Amant.

Through the air, Poirrier completed 15 of 26 passes for 190 yards and two scores. On the ground, he carried the ball 13 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns.

The loss dropped St. Amant’s record to 5-1.

It won’t get any easier next week. The Gators will go on the road to face top-ranked Catholic.