Tigers fall to Gators
BOURG — Morgan City head coach Dennis Lorio said he thought Friday’s contest was the first game his squad wasn’t focused emotionally.
“We played, but there wasn’t any fire in it,” he said.
While the squad performed much better in the second half, finding more success in its passing game than it had all year, it was too little too late as the squad fell 36-13 to South Terrebonne in District 7-4A action.
After being limited to minus 1 yard in the first half and trailing 19-0, Morgan City totaled 148 yards rushing, and more surprisingly, 71 passing in the second half.
“It’s encouraging that we finally found some passing game,” Lorio said. “Our running game’s been decent most of the game. Kevon got loose a couple times. Clifton got loose late in the game. It’s a battle. The kids are battling. The coaches are battling. You can see it. Nobody’s shutting down but we didn’t do enough offensively to encourage ourselves and by the time we got going on offense, it was a little out of reach.”
In the second half, Morgan City got two touchdowns and its most productive game from its passing attack this season.
After finishing the first half 0-for-3 passing, Morgan City quarterback Jaylen Jones completed 4 of 11 passes in the second half for 71 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Buddy Humphrey led Morgan City’s receivers with three catches for 50 yards and a score, while Malcolm Watkins added another catch for 21 yards and a touchdown.
Although South Terrebonne held Morgan City to a three-and-out to begin the second half, and the Gators extended their lead to 26-0 via a 2-yard touchdown run by David McCormick with 8:06 left in the third, Morgan City responded with its best drive of the night as the Tigers moved 54 yards for a score, which came on third down when Jones connected with Humphrey for a 21-yard touchdown with 3:54 remaining. Morgan City couldn’t get a point after attempt off following a botched snap and trailed 21-6.
Later after South Terrebonne responded with a 36-yard field goal by Matt Benoit with 11:56 remaining in the fourth quarter as well as a 64-yard run by Christian Wallis at the 8:48 mark of the final period, Morgan City scored again on Clifton Escort’s 12 yard run with 3:05 remaining. Escort, who carried just twice in the contest, set up the touchdown with a 54-yard run.
In the first half, South Terrebonne began the game’s scoring quickly.
Following a 42-yard kickoff return by Devin Harding to begin the game, Benoit connected with tight end Chandler Arceneaux for a 45-yard pass down to the Morgan City 4 yard line.
One play later, Authement scored from four yards out with 11:24 remaining in the opening period.
The point-after-attempt was blocked for a 6-0 South Terrebonne lead.
While Benoit connected on a 41-yard field goal on the Gators’ next drive with 7:15 remaining in the opening quarter, the squad was hurt by a holding penalty on first down.
Penalties were a thorn in the Gators’ side, while Morgan City had their share of yellow flags thrown against them, too. Both teams combined for 31 penalties for 278 yards.
After Benoit’s first field goal, South Terrebonne would add scores on its next two drives, a 29-yard pass from Benoit to Dovontavean Martin and another Benoit field goal, this time from 26 yards out five seconds into the second quarter after another holding penalty hurt their drive.
While Morgan City surrendered 385 yards of total offense, including 306 rushing, its defense, along with the penalties, kept South Terrebonne from putting up more points.
“We played with them,” Lorio said. “We just didn’t do enough offensively to make it a game.”
South Terrebonne’s ground game featured six players with at least 20 yards rushing, led by Wallis’ nine carries for 111 yards and a score, and Authement’s 12 carries for 68 yards and another score.
Benoit completed 4 of 11 passes for 79 yards with a touchdown and an interception apiece, while Arceneaux caught two passes for 51 yards and Martin, one for 29 and a score.
“They’re a pretty good team. (South Terrebonne) Coach (Richard) Curlin does a good job, and they (are) one of those teams that steadily gets better,” Lorio said.
First Downs 10 18
Rushing Yards 157 306
Passing Yards 71 79
Total Yards 228 385
A-C-HI 13-4-1 11-4-1
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-0
Punts-avg 6-35.3 2-44
Score By Quarter
MCHS 0 0 6 7 -- 13
STHS 16 3 7 10 -- 36
STHS: Dylan Authement 4-yd. run (Kick blocked) 11:24
STHS: Matt Benoid 41-yd. field goal 7:15
STHS: Benoit 29-yd. pass to Dovontavean Martin (Benoit kick) 1:40
STHS: Benoit 26-yd. field goal 11:55
STHS: David McCormick 2-yd. run (Benoit kick) 8:06
MCHS: Jaylen Jones 21-yd. pass to Buddy Humphrey (Run failed) 3:54
STHS: Benoit 36 yd. field goal 11:56
STHS: Christian Wallis 64 yd. run (Brett Landry kick) 8:48
MCHS: Clifton Escort 12 yd. run (Sergize Flores kick) 3:05
MCHS Individual stats
Kevon Martin 17-66; Clifton Escort 2-66 1TD; Jaylen Jones 10-25
Jaylen Jones 4-13-1 71 yds. 1TD
Buddy Humphrey 3-50 1TD; Malcolm Watkins 1-21