Injury ends Morgan City game early
Though Morgan City lost Friday’s District 7-4A game to Vandebilt Catholic, 28-13, the game ended with both teams putting the well-being of an injured player before points on the scoreboard.
The game ended with about 4 minutes left in the fourth quarter after Morgan City offensive tackle Anthony Rink sustained an injury that left him lying on the field for roughly 40 minutes before being taken by ambulance to Teche Regional Medical Center in Morgan City. Rink was injured on a play when Morgan City quarterback Hector Tolento threw an interception.
Morgan City head coach Dennis Lorio said the injury occurred in a pileup on the play.
Both teams agreed to end the game after Rink’s injury. Rink also plays on special teams and at linebacker.
Medical personnel advised Rink be taken to the hospital for precautionary measures, Lorio said.
Following Friday’s game, Lorio said Rink had movement and feeling in his body, some soreness along his spine and a little numbness in his shoulder.
Rink was released from the hospital hours after the game after an X-ray and an MRI were taken, Lorio said. According to Lorio, doctors said Rink has a bruised nerve in his neck and shoulder.
Prior to Rink’s injury, Lorio said Morgan City had several players sustain injuries in the contest, including quarterback Jaylen Jones and running back Kevon Marsh.
“We knew it was going to be quite a while before the game could resume,” Lorio said of Rink’s injury. “On paper, we still have a chance, but when we’re down three two-way starters, sometimes you just have to accept the situation. And the game is important, but those young men are invaluable. No game is worth one of these kids.”
Vandebilt head coach Brad Villavaso expressed his concern for Rink, saying his team said a prayer for him. “It’s difficult to watch a boy laying on the ground like that,” he said.
As for the game, Morgan City jumped out to a 10-0 lead on Vandebilt by the 7-minute mark of the second quarter.
Morgan City’s Jaylen Jones scored on a 3-yard run with 1:10 remaining in the first quarter on a scoring drive set up by a 63-yard pass from Jones to Kevon Marsh.
Sergize Flores pushed the Morgan City lead to 10-0 at the 7:01 mark of the second quarter with a 30-yard field goal.
The points came after Morgan City had recovered a fumble at the Vandebilt Catholic 7-yard line.
The Terriers responded with Tristan Guillory’s 71-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Flores extended the Morgan City advantage to 13-7 via a 35-yard field goal before Vandebilt Catholic answered right back with Guillory scoring again on a 2-yard run, giving Vandebilt Catholic a 14-13 lead with one minute before halftime.
“We had a 10-0 lead and really should have had more,” Lorio said. “We gotta capitalize. I love getting those field goals, and Sergize Flores is a terrific kicker. But sometimes you gotta get seven (points) instead of just three.”
In the third quarter, Vandebilt Catholic intercepted a pass on its own 5-yard line and drove 95 yards for another Guillory score, this one on a 2-yard run.
The Terriers took advantage of another Morgan City turnover in the fourth quarter as they recovered a fumble on the Tigers’ 30-yard line before scoring on a 24-yard pass from David Yancey to Claude Thompson.
The Tigers had 234 yards of total offense, while the Terriers had 254 yards. Morgan City threw four interceptions.
Both teams were plagued by penalties as the Tigers had 12 for 100 yards while the Terriers had 11 for 105 yards.
“We’re still getting too many penalties,” Lorio said.
Lorio said his team “has had every tough break you can have,” and played one of its better games of the season Friday.
The Tigers’ defense played well, but Vandebilt Catholic is a good team, Lorio said.
Because Morgan City has many of the same players starting on offense and defense, they just got worn down in the second half, Lorio said. “I just love the effort our kids give,” Lorio said. The Tigers have played hard in all of its four home games this season, but “it hasn’t added up,” Morgan City’s coach said.
Villavaso said Morgan City was the better team in the first half, but because the Tigers had many players playing both offense and defense, that made a difference at the end of the game. “Their guys were a lot (more tired) than ours,” he said.
Villavaso, who coached with Lorio at Thibodaux High School, said the Tigers have a bright future with the players and coaches they have.
The Vandebilt coach said his team’s defense “was the difference” in the contest.
Vandebilt Catholic (6-3) clinched at least a share of the district title with the win against Morgan City and can clinch the outright title this week with a win against Ellender Friday.
Morgan City (0-9, 0-3) will conclude its season Friday when it travels to face Assumption in District 7-4A action.
“They beat Ellender by 30,” Lorio said. “Ellender beat us by 2. Looking at that you’d say they’d be a 32-point favorite, but we played Vandebilt Catholic in a very competitive game tonight. I just think our kids will give it all they’ve got one more time. And hopefully we have enough healthy kids to compete, but I love the effort of our kids. Sometimes we make some silly mistakes, but they play hard.”
Morgan City Box Score
First downs 10 10
Rushing yards 86 187
Passing yards 148 67
Total yards 234 254
A-C-HI 15-5-4 13-4-0
Penalty-yards 12-100 11-105
Fumbles-lost 5-2 3-1
Punts-avg. 1-41 4-33
Score by Quarters
MCHS 7 6 0 0 -- 13
VCHS 0 14 7 7 -- 28
MCHS: Jaylen Jones 3-yard run (Sergize Flores kick) 1:10
MCHS: Flores 30-yard field goal 7:01
VCHS: Tristan Guillory 71-yard kickoff return (Jonah Pitre) 6:44
MCHS: Flores 35-yard field goal 2:32
VCHS: Guillory 2-yard run (Pitre kick) 1:00
VCHS: Guillory 2-yard run (Pitre kick) 6:52
VCHS: David Yancey 24-yard pass to Claude Thompson (Pitre kick) 9:08
MCHS Individual Stats
Kevon Marsh 15-65, Jaylen Jones 9-14 TD, Malcolm Watkins 1-7, Clifton Escort 1-0
Jaylen Jones 4-13-3 136; Hector Tolento 1-2-1 12
Buddy Humphrey 4-85; Kevon Marsh 1-63