Lafayette High’s only chance at success in its Friday regular-season football finale was to play keep-away.
The Mighty Lions had to keep the football out of the hands of Barbe’s high-octane offense, and the strategy worked ... sort of. The Class 5A second-ranked Buccaneers only ran 20 offensive plays in the first half and only 31 plays through three quarters.
The problem for the host Lions was that Barbe scored five times on those 20 first-half plays, and put up touchdowns on each of their first eight possessions in rolling to a 56-35 District 3-5A victory.
Barbe, which won the District 3-5A crown, will likely be one of the top four seeds when the playoff brackets are announced Sunday. The Lions, on the other hand, are just hoping to have their name listed somewhere.
Buccaneer quarterback Kennon Fontenot threw for seven touchdowns as part of a 449-yard night, even though Barbe (9-1, 6-0) didn’t throw a pass over the final quarter and a half.
“They just have a great offensive football team,” said Lafayette coach Jay Domengeaux, whose team will play the waiting game until Sunday’s announcement of the qualifiers for the 5A playoffs. “They’re very impressive and very efficient, and they make so many good decisions.”
Fontenot made a lot of those decisions, continually throwing over the top of the Mighty Lion secondary with touchdown passes of 11, 43, 77, 23, 5, 68 and 71 yards.
“We went in with a game plan and we stuck to it,” said Fontenot, who finished 14-of-20 throwing and upped his touchdown total to 31 in 10 regular-season games. “Our offensive line is one of the best in the state ... I wouldn’t want anyone else protecting me.”
Barbe had 28 points in the first quarter on only 10 snaps, never taking more than three plays to score, but the Lions (5-5, 2-4) used their veer running attack and a well-timed onside kick to stay even with the Bucs at 28-28 late in the first half. LHS had 255 rush yards in the first half alone, and quarterback Colin Comeaux hit Damion Morgan with a 30-yard scoring pass with 2:15 left in the half for that 28-all tie.
But the Bucs came right back, going 80 yards in a comparatively-marathon nine plays before Fontenot hit running back Courtney Galentine with a 5-yard scoring toss 11 seconds before halftime.
SULPHUR — With each of its seasons on the line, the Sulphur Golden Tors and the Carencro Bears played with a sense of desperation.
Sulphur intercepted a pair of Carencro passes to take to a six-point halftime lead. But in the end Carencro dominated possession in the second half, scoring two touchdowns in the first 6 minutes of the third quarter to win and all but assure itself a spot in the Class 5A playoffs.
“I thought the first half definitely went our way and our kids played well,” Sulphur head coach Harold Fusilier said. “We started the second half by giving them good field position, and I think that got them fired up a little bit.”
It was that third quarter that turned the game in Carencro’s favor.
Down 20-14, Carencro’s Kyler Perrault took the opening kickoff 44 yards and gave the Bears a short field.
From there, it was an early-and-often dosage of senior fullback Galen Carter. Carter carried the ball eight of the drive’s nine plays and capped the drive with a 6-yard run to give the Bears (5-4, 4-2) a lead they didn’t relinquish.
MOSS BLUFF — A tough 10-minute run cost Sam Houston a shot at picking up its first District 3-5A win of the season.
Comeaux used two interceptions and two big plays in that time frame to beat the Broncos.
The Broncos (2-8, 0-6) jumped ahead 6-0 in the first quarter when Dustin Duhon scored on a 75-yard run.
Comeaux (4-5, 2-4) answered back midway through the second quarter when Ethan Rose connected with Don Rubin on a 18-yard scoring pass.
The Broncos turned the ball over on the next series and Rose wasted no time, scoring on an 83-yard run with 34 seconds to go in the half.
Sam Houston turned it again on the opening series of the second half and the Spartans moved ahead 21-6 when Marvin Barker ran one from 2 yards out.
Duhon scored again at the end of the third on an 8-yard run.
A year after losing a shot at an outright district championship with a blowout loss at Washington-Marion, LaGrange turned the table on the Charging Indians with a win that gave the Gators a share of the District 4-4A crown, along with Washington-Marion and DeRidder.
The Charging Indians (8-2, 4-1) could have won the title outright with a win, but the Gators reeled off 28 straight points in the first half to take control of the game.
The win will likely give the Gators (7-3, 4-1) a home game in the playoffs for the first time since 1999, which was also the last season the Gators won a postseason game.
“It feels really good, the program has come a long way, to be able to host a playoff game means a lot,” said LaGrange head coach Jules Sullen.
The Gators scored a pair of touchdowns midway through the first quarter. Tyler Guillory ran 67 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. On the next play from scrimmage, Tirell Wellmaker picked off a pass and zig-zagged his way down the right sideline for a 63-yard touchdown return.
Gators quarterback Nick Pitre threw a pair of touchdown passes in the second quarter to put the game out of reach. On fourth-and-17 from the W-M 42, Pitre scrambled right and found Hawthorne down the sideline for a 42-yard score. On the next drive, Pitre hit Wellmaker, who spun out of a tackle and sprinted down the sideline for a 39-yard touchdown.
Pitre finished with 125 yards on just three completions. Guillory ran for 136 yards on 17 carries.
DERIDDER — The Dragons captured a share of the District 4-4A championship with a victory over Opelousas.
DeRidder finished in a three-way tie with LaGrange and Washington-Marion after the Gators beat the Charging Indians.
Jamom Bradford led the way with 21 carries for 103 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter and the Dragons never looked back.
DeRidder enters the playoffs next week with a 6-4 record overall and 4-1 mark in district play.
Last year there was also a three-way tie for the title with St. Louis joining Washington-Marion and LaGrange atop the standings.
Jarrett Floyd and D’Angelo Reder also scored touchdowns for the Dragons.
DeRidder finished the night with 231 yards rushing compared to just 34 for Opelousas (2-8, 1-4).
ARNAUDVILLE — The Saints took care of business Friday night. Now they must wait for a little help and hope the stars align just right.
St. Louis battered winless Beau Chene 26-7 in a District 4-4A game, improving their chances of moving up in the power rankings and into a spot in the top 32.
The Saints (5-5, 2-3), who have made the playoffs for eight straight seasons, will have to wait until the LHSAA playoff pairings are released Sunday night to find out if their season will continue.
Against Beau Chene, the Saints ground out 264 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns.
Jared Smith led the way with 143 yards and a score on 28 carries, while Dylan Greeman and Andrew Dietz added rushing touchdowns.
Saints kicker Thomas O’Dowd nailed two field goals, of 38 and 37 yards, as St. Louis took a 6-0 lead in the second quarter.
Clay Cormier connected with Tyler Adams for an 80-yard touchdown late in the first half as Beau Chene took a 7-6 halftime lead.
St. Louis rallied back in the third quarter with two quick scoring drives before Dietz finished it out with a 10-yard run midway through the fourth.
TIOGA — Tioga scored twice in the fourth quarter to take control of the game.
Devail Lewis carried the ball 14 times for 146 yards to lead Leesville (1-9, 1-4), while Kory Jones threw for 115 yards and ran for two touchdowns.
Tioga finished the season 5-5 and 3-2.
IOWA — A playoff atmosphere came to Iowa a week early, as Jennings outlasted the host Yellow Jackets after a fourth quarter filled with big plays.
“We came over here to play a very good football team with a lot of weapons,” said Jennings coach Rusty Phelps. “I’m proud of the effort tonight with these kids.”
One of the last players anyone would have suspected played the role of hero for the Bulldogs.
Keaton Bertrand, listed as a defensive lineman and primarily used as a tight end on offense, barely scored from a yard out on fourth-and-goal to give Jennings the lead with 3:54 left to play.
“I had faith in my O-line because I play tight end with them,” Bertrand said. “It’s just a great feeling when your coach trusts you to run the ball like that and you accomplish what he asks you to do. They’ve been saving it all year ’til when we needed it the most.”
Phelps said Bertrand has carried the ball twice all year. The Bulldogs use him in a jumbo package that was installed a few weeks ago.
“It was to give us a little more pop inside with some size in the backfield,” Phelps said. “It wasn’t meant to go for it on fourth down, I can promise you that.”
The touchdown plunge was set up by a 42-yard completion from Jaylon Boutte to Keagan Deaville to the 5-yard line on third-and-13. Boutte rolled out of the pocket to find Deaville racing down the sideline, and the senior hauled the long throw in by his fingertips.
CROWLEY — Latrell Martin rushed for 302 yards and quarterback Jim Hamilton threw three touchdowns passes as Westlake turned on its running game late and pulled away from Crowley in the fourth quarter.
Westlake (6-3, 3-2), which had struggled offensively in recent weeks, strengthen its bid for a home playoff game next week.
Martin scored three touchdowns, including a 67-yard run that put the Rams up for good, 34-28, early in the fourth quarter and he got another on a 1-yard run moments later. He also scored on a pair of 2-point conversion runs.
Crowley (2-8, 1-4) closed the gap to 42-35 on quarterback Andre Mills’ fourth touchdown pass of the game, but the Rams salted the game away on Hamilton’s 15-yard scoring pass to Jacory Washington, which came on a fourth-down gamble.
Martin also had a 1-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter.
Hamilton opened the game’s scoring the way he closed it, with a 10-yard pass to Washington and also found Armon Dunbard for a 15-yard scoring strike in the second quarter.
But the Rams didn’t take control of the game until the second half when Martin pounded away with 29 carries for the game. Westlake finished with 343 on the ground.
Nick Latour also had a 29-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, one his two carries.
Mills had scoring passes of 15 and 45 yards to Kiriakis Brown, 16 to Tiron Foreman and 7 yards to Chanz Moore.
LONGVILLE — Notre Dame captued the district championship outright with the easy victory.
The loss ended South Beauregard’s season at 2-8, 0-5.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame heads to the playoffs with an 8-1 record overall and perfect in district play at 5-0.
KINDER — The Yellow Jackets took a convincing shutout over Lake Arthur behind three Marshall Harmon touchdowns in the final District 4-2A game of the regular season.
Both team are expected to make the playoffs when the seedings are announced Sunday.
“I think tonight, most importantly, we put a lot of things together,” said Kinder coach Jeff Wainwright. “We kicked the ball well, ran the ball well, threw it well, and obviously we played very good defense."
The Kinder (8-2, 5-2) offense started rolling early as it scored on its opening drive. Harmon scored on a 2-yard run with 2:57 left in the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead.
The Yellow Jackets forced the Tigers (8-2, 5-2) to punt on their second offensive possession. They went ahead 14-0 when Devaughn Thompson was on the receiving end of an Austin Pickle 19-yard pass with 6:49 to play in the second quarter.
PICKERING — Welsh earned a share of the District 5-2A championship with a convincing win over Pickering.
Welsh (8-2, 6-1) bolted to a 21-0 first half lead, then scored two TDs in the third quarter to salt the game away.
Welsh opened the scoring after stopping the Red Devils (2-8, 2-5) on downs at the Greyhound 37. Six plays later, Destin Reed scored the third of his two touchdowns on a 2-yard.
The Greyhounds halted Pickering at the Welsh 35 on down on the next series, then motored 65 yards in 11 plays. Reed plunged in from the 1 to make it 14-0.
DEQUINCY — DeQuincy snapped its four-game losing streak to end the year on a winning note.
Brandon Brown caught a touchdown and returned an interception 40 yards to lead DeQuincy (3-7, 3-4).
The Tigers held Vinton (3-7, 1-6) to negative yards rushing.
ROSEPINE — Rosepine claimed its share of the District 4-2A championship by shellacking East Beauregard.
Quarterback Blank Hinson figured in five of the Eagles’ six touchdowns, rushing for three and throwing for two others.
Hinson sprinted 29 yards to the end zone for the Eagles’ first TD.
Minutes later, he tossed a 45-yard scoring strike to Eric Kyle.
Martin led the Eagles’ attack with 125 yards on nine carries. Rosepine (7-3, 6-1) rolled up 427 yards in total offense.
East Beauregard finished the year 0-10.
IOTA — Thomas Murrell rushed for 165 yards and Brandon Fantroy scored three touchdowns as Iota rolled over Mamou.
The Bulldogs finished the season 4-6, 3-2 in district while Mamou was 2-8, 2-3.
The Iota defense held Mamou 76 yards rushing while intercepting four passes.
Fantroy scored on runs of 34, 4 and 3 yards, and finished the game with 98 yards.
BASILE — Basile spotted Elton a 12-0 lead, then roared back for a victory in this U.S. 190 rivalry.
The victory earned Basile (9-1, 4-1) a share of the District 5-1A championship. Elton fell to 8-2, 3-2.
Kendrick Ceasar scored three touchdowns and rushed for 148 yards on 18 carries.
The Bearcats’ defense also factored heavily in the outcome, forcing six Elton turnovers.
Oberlin won its championship, Hamilton Christian is hoping it won a chance to play again.
On a night when the visiting Tigers claimed the District 5-1A crown, it was the Warriors who believe they made enough noise to earn a playoff spot.
Moments after his team lost to Oberlin at Cougar Stadium, Hamilton head coach Reggie Nelson told his players, “You didn’t win the game, but I believe you won the right to play another game.”
Sunday we all find out if the Warriors (3-7, 2-3) did in fact earn a playoff spot.
OAKDALE — Ville Platte took advantage of three turnovers and raced to a big lead to claim the District 5-2A championship.
Bulldog quarterback Isaiah Thomas threw for 171 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Ville Platte (7-3, 5-0) attack. He finished 8-22 with all three of his TD throws coming in the first half when the Bulldogs led 41-0.
Justin Charles caught two of the Thomas scoring tosses and finished with four catches for 102 yards.
Oakdale finished the regular season 4-6, 4-1.
MERRYVILLE — Coy Harrington, Larry Irvin and Kade Jackson each ran for a touchdown as Merryville ended its season on a high note with a shutout in a District 5-1A game.
The Panthers (3-7, 1-4) ran for 214 yards and forced four turnovers. South Cameron fell to 1-9, 0-5.
Nick Ardoin led the balanced Merryville attack with 62 yards on six carries. Harrington added another 57 on 10 runs.