Tigers will travel to face Gators
By GEOFF STOUTE
While the Morgan City High School Tigers may not have won a game this year, head coach Dennis Lorio said the squad can still make strides from last year by winning a District 7-4A contest.
Last week, Morgan City nearly had it before falling to Ellender 34-32 in a double-overtime heartbreaker.
Morgan City was hurt in the contest by little things, including a costly penalty at the end of regulation, a missed extra point in the first overtime and a rushed two-point conversion attempted that was no good to end the game after the Tigers were caught up in the moment celebrating their touchdown in the second overtime.
Despite the heartbreak, Lorio said his squad is “encouraged to know that we’re that close.”
In last week’s win, Morgan City scored more points than the 26 it had put up in its first six contests.
“We definitely performed a lot better offensively last week, and we’re going to have to keep improving there in order to compete,” Lorio said.
Morgan City’s coach said several Tigers, including the offensive line and Kevon Marsh, all had their best games.
Marsh, back after sitting out against Rayne to nurse an injury, had 153 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, while Clifton Escort also had seven carries for 48 yards and two touchdowns.
“Clifton’s come along way,” Lorio said. “He’s a great young man. He’s very bright … He’s athletic, strong.”
Last week, the Tigers also welcomed back Jaylen Jones, who started the season as the Tigers’ quarterback before an injury sidelined him for three weeks.
While freshman Hector Tolento directed the Tigers’ offense during regulation, he was replaced by Jones to start the overtime session. Jones completed two passes, both for touchdowns, covering 10 and 20 yards.
Lorio said both Tolento and Jones would see time at quarterback going forward.
This week, the Tigers will continue district action Friday when they travel to Bourg to face South Terrebonne.
The Gators run a wing-T offense and feature running backs Christian Wallis, who has carried for 798 yards and 8 touchdowns. He averages 8.7 yards per carry.
Teammate Rodney Carvin has rushed for 395 yards and five more scores.
Quarterback Matt Benoit has completed 50 of 99 pass attempts for 528 yards with four touchdowns and interceptions apiece.
Chandler Arceneaux, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 245-pound tight end who is receiving interest from Florida State, Alabama, Harvard, Yale and Brown, has caught 10 passes for 101 yards and two scores.
Wallis also has hauled in eight passes for 145 yards and a score and De’vontavean Martin, 10 catches for 155 yards.
Lorio said he knows South Terrebonne coach Richard Curlin well, adding that both won a state title in football on the same night in 1991, Curlin at South Terrebonne and Lorio at Thibodaux, in back-to-back contests.
Lorio said the Gators’ offense features more speed this year than in the past and they like to run the ball with the fullback on inside runs. The Gators also use a lot of misdirection.
“They can attack you in a lot of ways, so (it is) a big challenge for our defense,” he said.
In last week’s 55-8 win against Assumption in district play, South Terrebonne totaled 456 yards of offense, including 406 rushing.
Morgan City faced a wing-T offense against Rayne two weeks ago, although Lorio said he thought South Terrebonne’s skill players were quicker.
“We did some things there (against Rayne) that kept us in the game for the first half defensively, so we’re hopeful that we can play well in the first half and get the game in the second half and give our self a chance to win it, which has been our goal all along,” Lorio said.
As for South Terrebonne, a week ago the Gators’ defense limited Assumption to 152 yards and forced four turnovers.
Friday’s kickoff at South Terrebonne High School is set for 7 p.m.