Gators down Dutchtown on new turf

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
St. Amant receiver Noah Louque had 112 yards receiving in the Gators’ 21-14 win over Dutchtown.

After St. Amant’s 21-14 victory over Dutchtown on Friday night, the first words that came out of head coach David Oliver’s mouth were: “There’s no place like home.”

For the first time all season, the Gators were able to have a true home game at The Pit, on their new artificial field turf.

The new surface was supposed to be completed prior to week one, but torrential downpours throughout the summer and the landfall of Hurricane Ida in August delayed construction. St. Amant was forced to play all of its prior home games at Dutchtown High.

But on Friday night, the Gators were finally able to taste victory from their home field.

“It was a great crowd, a great turnout and a lot going on. The community really rallied around us, and our kids showed up,” Oliver said. “I just loved the effort tonight. Dutchtown was gritty. It was a hard-fought game, but in the end, I thought that our kids really deserved this win.”

St. Amant started hot, putting together an 11-play opening drive, but the march was halted at the Dutchtown 17. It set up a 34-yard field goal for Cole Poirrier, but he missed the kick.

That kept the game scoreless until early in the second quarter.

The Gators marched 60 yards in seven plays and took a 7-0 lead after a three-yard touchdown run by Poirrier.

Dutchtown tried to cut into the lead late in the half. The Griffins put together a 13-play drive, but it stalled at the Gator 14-yard line. Jacob Etter missed a 31-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

On St. Amant’s opening possession of the third quarter, Poirrier hooked up with Noah Louque for 51 yards on a third-and-nine. It gave the Gators a first down at Dutchtown’s 30-yard line.

Soon afterwards, Poirrier scored on a two-yard run to extend the St. Amant lead to 14-0.

But Dutchtown answered with an eight-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 29-yard touchdown run by Dylan Sampson, cutting the deficit in half.

To begin the fourth quarter, St. Amant went back up by double digits. The Gators drove 70 yards in 10 plays, and they went up 21-7 with another three-yard touchdown run by Poirrier.

The Griffins went to their bag of tricks for a quick answer.

Sampson took the snap at quarterback and threw a pass downfield to Baylor Langlois. Langlois was finally tackled after a 78-yard gain.

Sampson scored on a 12-yard run on the next play to cut it to 21-14.

But Dutchtown would not score again.

The Griffins had the ball late, with a chance to put together a tying drive, but the Gator defense turned them over on downs.

Then Poirrier iced the game with a 20-yard, first-down run.

The St. Amant defense held Dutchtown to just 194 total yards. Sampson was limited to 87 yards rushing and two scores on 18 carries.

“I’m very proud of them. They played great the whole game and really hung in there,” Oliver said. “They got one big play on us, but then we were able to finish them off. The last drive we had on offense was powerful. It was tough with lots of plays. We were able to jam it down their throat a little bit.”

Langlois had 62 yards rushing and 123 yards receiving.

Poirrier passed for 175 yards, and he added 43 yards rushing and three scores on the ground.

“Just like they were trying to put the ball in the hands of Dylan Sampson down the stretch, we were trying to do the same thing with Cole Poirrier,” Oliver said. “He’s been there for us for three years. He’s going to go down as one of the great Gators. He finished the job for us, with a little help from his friends.”