Lusher beats CCHS with late score
By ZACHARY FITZGERALD
MORGAN CITY — Central Catholic lost a heartbreaker Friday night at Tiger Stadium in a back-and-forth game against Lusher Charter after the Lions sealed a 34-26 victory on a 1-yard touchdown run with five seconds left in the game.
The Eagles jumped on top first after an interception by Stefano Guarisco, who later ran it 3 yards for the score with 45 seconds left in the first quarter. The Eagles missed the extra point.
In the second quarter, Lusher Charter’s Keyan Williams returned a punt 33 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 6 after the extra point attempt was blocked.
The first half ended with relatively little offensive production, with the Eagles rushing for just 20 yards and passing for 26 yards, while the Lions ran for 36 yards and passed for 37 yards.
On Lusher Charter’s first offensive play of the third quarter, Bruce Murray found the open field with a 60-yard touchdown run.
Central Catholic responded with a 65-yard drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Nicholas Case to Guarisco, tying the score at 13 with 7:18 to play in the third quarter.
The Lions came right back with a 47-yard scoring drive capped by quarterback Louis Landrum III’s 1-yard touchdown run with 5:30 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles responded again with another 65-yard scoring drive ending a 13-yard run by Guarisco with 1:50 left in the third quarter to tie the game at 20.
The Lions started off the fourth quarter with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Landrum to Williams with 11:09 to play.
The Eagles kept the string of answering scoring drives alive with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Case to Charlie Barron.
Tied at 26, the game came down to the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, when Murray scored on a 1-yard run for the Lions, giving the Eagles just five seconds to work a miracle. The Eagles got the ball at their own 25-yard line with three seconds to go. Case threw a pass to Guarisco and the Eagles attempted to lateral their way to the end zone, but it didn’t happen as the Lions (2-0) recovered a fumble to end the game.
Lusher Charter Head Coach Louis Landrum said his team was not expecting the close game that ensued.
“A lot of hats off to Central Catholic. They played a hell of a game, well-coached, well-organized. They’re a good group of kids, good coaching staff. They know what they wanted to do, and they know how to do it,” Landrum said.
The Lions missed two scoring opportunities in the first half, turning the ball over on downs after having the ball at the Eagles’ 1-yard line and then failing to score right before the half after getting to the Eagles’ 6-yard line.
“We got down there in the red zone and kind of messed up twice, so that cost us and made it more of a game than what we were anticipating ... I’m glad our guys hung together and came back and pulled out the win,” Landrum said.
Central Catholic had two starters out injured, offensive lineman Collin Conner and wide receiver Tyler Hoffpauir, Central Catholic Head Coach David Fuhrer said. The Eagles will have to take it “week to week” to see whether they can play, Fuhrer said.
“We practiced all week long, but we knew Tyler was injured,” Fuhrer said after Friday’s game. “We found out yesterday afternoon that the offensive lineman (Conner) wasn’t going to be able to play. He had practiced all week so (we) kind of had to make changes. It messed the game plan up a little bit ... We tweaked it. And the guys that were in there did the best they could do.”
Regarding his team’s 0-2 start to season and looking ahead to the rest of the season, Fuhrer said, “We knew we were going to be young as far as experience wise ... I thought if we played well the last two weeks we had a chance to win them ... We had a chance for both of them, and we just fell short. Not the way we wanted to start, but as long as we keep improving and young guys step up, we think we’ll be OK.”
Guarisco led the Eagles with 109 yards on 23 rushes and two touchdowns. He also caught seven passes for 74 yards and one touchdown.
Case was 11-for-17 passing for 119 yards and two touchdowns.
The Eagles travel to Thibodaux Friday to play E.D. White (1-2).
First downs 12 12
Rushing yards 124 169
Passing yards 119 121
Total yards 243 290
A-C-HI 18-11-0 15-8-1
Pen. Yards 4-23 8-65
Fumbles-lost 1-1 3-0
Punts-avg. 5-25 2-27
Score by quarters
CCHS 6 0 14 6 - 26
LCHS 0 6 14 14 - 34
CCHS: Stefano Guarisco 3-yard run (kick failed) 0:45
LCHS: Keyan Williams 33-yard punt return (kick blocked) 7:50
LCHS: Bruce Murray 60-yard run (Eli Poche kick) 10:24
CCHS: Nicholas Case 41-yard pass to Guarisco (Matthew Barbier kick) 7:18
LCHS: Louis Landrum III 1-yard run (Poche kick) 5:30
CCHS: Guarisco 13-yard run (Barbier kick) 1:50
LCHS: Landrum 25-yard pass to Williams (kick blocked) 11:09
CCHS: Case 5-yard pass to Charlie Barron (kick failed) 7:14
LCHS: Jarmar Jones 1-yard run (Oliver Lucius run) 0:05
Central Catholic individual stats:
Rushing: Stefano Guarisco 23-109 2TDs; Garret LeBlanc 6-23; Nicholas Case 8-(-8)
Passing: Nicholas Case 11-17-0 119 2TDs; Stefano Guarisco 0-1-0 0
Receiving: Stefano Guarisco 7-74 TD; Charlie Barron 2-23 TD; Eriq Blanchard 2-22