St. Amant survives late-game scare from Lutcher
It has become an overused cliché in high-school football that teams have to compete for 48 minutes to get the win, but in St. Amant's case, it was a reality they faced last Friday night.
The Gators were taken to the limit as Lutcher scored a touchdown on the final play of the game to cut their deficit to 21-20.
They could have kicked the extra point and taken the game into overtime, but long-time Bulldog head coach Tim Detillier decided to roll the dice and channel his inner Tom Osborne.
Lutcher went for the two-point try and the victory, but after a Jontre Kirklin pass fell incomplete, St. Amant clinched the thrilling home win to remain undefeated.
Inconsistency had killed the Gators in their jamboree and in their first two games of the season.
In the jamboree, they struggled in the first half and played well in the second. In the first two games, they played exceptionally well in the first half but struggled in the second.
That formula cursed them again last Friday night as they struggled immensely in the first half.
Undefeated Lutcher opened the game with an 80-yard drive that was completed in just seven plays when Kirklin scored on a 19-yard touchdown run to give the Bulldogs the opening lead.
The Gators responded with a nice drive that was complimented by a 45-yard connection from Hayden Mallory to Briggs Bourgeois. It set up a four-yard touchdown pass from Mallory to Jacob Cheatwood to tie the game.
With the game tied late in the first half, Lutcher's Al'Dontre Davis broke loose on an 84-yard punt return for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 14-7 advantage at the break.
Like in their jamboree, the Gators shook off a lackluster first half and got into a rhythm in the second.
Midway through the third quarter, St. Amant tied the game following an eight-play, 58-yard drive. Mallory hit Nathan Taylor for a two-yard score.
The Gators were then able to take their first lead of the game early in the fourth quarter.
St. Amant forced a turnover, and their offense went back on the move.
They drove into Lutcher territory, but they were forced into a critical fourth down. Instead of opting for a 45-yard Bourgeois field goal, the Gators went for it.
The gamble paid off as Mallory hit Bourgeois for a 28-yard touchdown.
With time running low, things looks bleak for the Lutcher offense, but Kirklin quickly put them on the move.
He drove them 77 yards on just seven plays with a 35-yard connection to Davis highlighting the march.
As the final seconds ticked away, Kirklin hit Tariq Belvin for a 19-yard touchdown to get the Bulldogs within one point.
They opted for the win, but the St. Amant defense made the biggest stand of the game--allowing them to escape The Pit with a 21-20 victory.
Kirklin kept Lutcher in the game. He threw for 243 yards and a score, and he added 123 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Mallory was stymied in the first half as he only completed 4 of 18 passes. He played much better in the second half as he finished the game 15-36 for 163 yards with three touchdowns.
Bourgeois had three catches for 77 yards and a score, and Mark Darby led the Gators on the ground with 59 yards.
St. Amant now stands at 3-0.
They'll hit the road this week to play an old district foe in Woodlawn. The Panthers are 1-2 this season.