Gators erase 14-point deficit to remain undefeated

Kyle Riviere
kriviere@weeklycitizen.com
St. Amant quarterback Hayden Mallory passed for 297 yards and four scores in the Gators' win over Woodlawn. Photo by DKMoon Photography.

For most of the season, it has been St. Amant that has jumped out to big leads, but last Friday night, it was the Gators that were forced to play catch-up.

St. Amant fell down 14-0 to Woodlawn right out of the gates, but they never panicked. They scored 34 unanswered points to end the game and keep their record unblemished.

The Gators seemed a little let down early on after being just one week removed from a hard-fought 21-20 victory over Lutcher that went down to the final play.

Their offense started off in neutral against their old district foe, Woodlawn. The Panthers took advantage.

Woodlawn's offense caught fire and rolled up 214 first-half yards.

In just a four-minute span in the first quarter, Panther quarterback Jamari Nelson threw two touchdown passes--both of which went to Taj Sullivan for 19 yards.

The flurry put Woodlawn up 14-0 heading into the second. St. Amant was held to just 11 total yards in the opening quarter.

That changed quickly. Gator quarterback Hayden Mallory hit Briggs Bourgeois for a 51-yard score right before the half that helped St. Amant cut the lead down to 14-11 at the break.

To start the third quarter, Mallory and Bourgeois connected again. This time, Bourgeois scored from 11 yards out to give the Gators their first lead of the game at 18-14.

From there, it was all St. Amant.

The Gator offense showed tremendous proficiency as they scored on three of their four second-half drives.

After a shaky first half, the Gator defense stepped up as well.

In addition to pitching a shutout in the final three quarters, they held Woodlawn to just 138 second-half yards. They forced the Panthers to punt on eight of their final 10 possessions.

Mallory and the Gator offense hit their stride after a sluggish start. They piled up 476 yards in the final three quarters.

The first-year starting quarterback bounced back from a tough outing last week against Lutcher. He went 22 of 35 for 297 yards and four scores.

Bourgeois was his top target as he made five grabs for 122 yards and two scores. He also kicked successful 29 and 35-yard field goals.

Nathan Taylor did plenty of damage to the Woodlawn defense both on the ground and through the air.

He rattled off 199 yards rushing on 23 carries. He also had three catches for 43 yards. Overall, Taylor accounted for two St. Amant touchdowns.

Nelson finished with 214 yards passing against the Gators, but he was only able to complete 19 of 46 passes.