Tors’ time comes, beat Bucs in rivalry game

It was a fast and furious start and finish to the 50th edition of the Barbe-Sulphur football rivalry.

Sulphur scored 21 points in the final 121/2 minutes to beat Barbe 35-31 Friday night.

“I can’t say enough about our kids,” Sulphur head coach Chris Towery said. “They went out and won this football game tonight. They fought and clawed.

“Nobody has given us a chance to win a football game yet this year. We have not been picked to win one, and our kids fought on both sides of the ball and made plays when they needed to.”

Junior wide receiver Kaden Blalock had dropped some passes early in the game, but Towery said he knew he would make a big play at the right time, and he made two. Jamaal Levi’s 31-yard touchdown reception gave Barbe (3-5, 2-3) a 31-28 lead with 6 minutes left, but Blalock hauled in a third-down pass and broke to several tackles to score from 80 yards out to put the Tors (4-4, 3-2) up for good with 4:19 left. Blalock also scored on a 35-yard reception just over 2 minutes into the fourth quarter from Gage Trahan to put the Tors on top for the first time since the opening quarter, 28-23.

“We dropped a bunch of stuff,” Towery said. “We could have probably thrown for 500 yards tonight.

“The kid that dropped the ball made two big plays in the passing game. He was over there, and I said, ‘You are going to make a play to help us win this football game at some point,’ and by god he did.”

Blalock finished with two catches for 115 yards and scored on an 11-yard sweep in the first quarter.

The teams combined for 27 points in the first quarter, including two scoring plays longer than 70 yards — an 85-yard run by Sulphur’s Tag Stelly and a 70-yard reception by Barbe’s Reed Boyd.

Stelly ran for 220 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries as the Tors racked up 542 yards of total offense. Trahan completed 11 of 16 passes for 271 yards and two scores.

Barbe went into halftime up 16-14 after Collin Medlin kicked a 37-yard field goal with 9:09 left in the second quarter and pushed its lead to 23-14 on a 6-yard run by Levi early in the third quarter. The Bucs used some trickery to set up Levi’s score with Landon Victorian grabbing a 41-yard reception on a flea-flicker on third-and-16. But the Bucs scored on one of their final four possessions.

“It was a very good game for the fans at least,” Barbe head coach Mike Curtrea said. “You have to give credit to Sulphur. They did a good job slowing us down and they moved the ball.

“I am proud of our kids, though, the way we battled throughout the game. We just came up short.”

Levi finished with 10 catches for 127 yards and three total touchdowns, McClain completed 17 of 28 passes for 268 yards and two touchdowns.

Sulphur turned the ball over twice in the first half and had 100 yards in penalties before turning things around in the second half.

“I just told them to keep playing and control the things that they can control,” Towery said. “We can’t control the flags and all that stuff.”

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