Superdome dreams dashed

Joseph Bertrand
December 11, 2014
Smart911 reaches year mark
December 16, 2014
Joseph Bertrand
December 11, 2014
Smart911 reaches year mark
December 16, 2014

The South Terrebonne football team had an eight point halftime lead over No. 1 Plaquemine on Friday night – a 14-6 advantage that had the homestanding Green Devils fans shocked and silent.

But in the final 24 minutes, things turned – in a big way.

And as a result, the prep football season is now officially over in the Houma-Thibodaux area.

Out of the lockers, Plaquemine showed why it possesses a No. 1 next to its name, scoring 14 third-quarter points to take a 20-14 lead heading to the fourth-quarter.

Once there, the onslaught never stopped, as the Green Devils scored two more times to roar to a 33-22 win.

The loss ends South Terrebonne’s season with an 11-2 record – two wins shy of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and three wins short of the coveted Class 4A State Championship.

“We had our chances, but give credit to them, because they are a heck of a team. They did the things they needed to do to come back and take the win,” South Terrebonne head football coach Richard Curlin said. “I’m proud of our guys. We finished short, but we had a really nice season. There’s only one team in Class 4A that walks off the field happy at the end of this thing. Whether you go two deep, three deep or four deep – if you don’t win the last game, it all stings.”

For the Gators, the first 24 minutes of Friday night’s game made it seem like a monumental upset was imminent.

After a couple early punts, Plaquemine struck first midway through the first quarter when D’Morea Wicks scampered into the end zone from a yard out for the first points of the game. After a missed extra point, the Green Devils led 6-0.

The rest of the second half was all South Terrebonne, as the Gators gashed Plaquemine’s defense with consistent gains on the ground.

The Gators took their first lead the drive after the Plaquemine touchdown on a 4-yard burst from Louis Blanchard to go up 7-6 late in the first quarter.

That lead ballooned to 14-6 early in the second quarter when quarterback Tyeson Verdin found Randall Normal on a 13-yard touchdown strike.

That margin held until halftime thanks to an inspired effort from the Gators’ defense. On one Green Devils’ possession, a promising drive came to a crashing half when South Terrebonne defender Brett Franks picked off a pass in the end zone for a touchback.

In others, constant pressure derailed the Green Devils’ efforts.

South Terrebonne had the ball last in the opening half and threatened to add to its lead, but a 35-yard field goal clanked the uprights as time expired, sending the game to halftime with the Gators up 8.

Both coaches agreed the missed field goal was a key play in the game.

“I think we took a little bit of momentum into halftime with that play,” Plaquemine coach Paul Distefano said. “And we took the ball first to start the second half and we came out fighting. I’m proud of the way we responded. It’s not easy to be down at halftime in a winner-take-all game. But I think we did a nice job taking back control in that second half.”

“We had an opportunity there, and we just didn’t quite capitalize,” Curlin said. “It definitely hurt.”

Out of the lockers, Plaquemines took control. They cut the lead to 14-12 midway through the third quarter on a nine-yard touchdown run from Austin Mitchell.

The dagger came on the next play, as the Gators fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving the Green Devils the ball at the South Terrebonne 34-yard-line.

One play later, Plaquemine was ahead for good, as Mitchell scored to give his team a 20-14 lead.

“We were our own worst enemy in the second half,” Curlin said. “Anytime we got something going, we’d get flagged or do something to stop what we were trying to do. You can’t do that in these types of games.”

In the fourth quarter, Plaquemine put the final touches on its win when Wicks dashed 41 yards into the end zone to put his team ahead 26-14.

South Terrebonne tried to rally, but a pick-6 gave the Green Devils a 33-14 edge with just a few minutes to play.

Verdin tossed a touchdown pass in the final minutes to bring the game to its final margin.

With the win, Plaquemine improved to 12-1. They will take on Warren Easton on Friday night in the Semifinals.

The Green Devils will have their hands full, as Easton won 55-7 over Benton in the Quarters.

Curlin and the Gators saw Warren Easton in the regular season. He said the semifinals matchup will be a good one.

“That should end up being a pretty close football game,” he said.

But it’s a game that the coach said he wishes he could be playing in with his team. The Gators will say goodbye to a solid senior class in 2014 – a group that consists of several three-year starters.

“We’ll miss them,” Curlin said. “We’re losing a lot of guys who are really good football players. We had fun being around this group. They always hustled at practice and did everything we asked. They have nothing to be ashamed of. They did everything they were coached to do.”


South Terrebonne represented the last local hope for a 2014 football state champion. But there are a few other local storylines that were worth following on Friday night.

In Division I, Houma native and Brother Martin quarterback Jake Broggi saw his team’s season come to a close on Friday night, falling 40-20 against John Curtis.

Broggi struggled to find a rhythm throughout Friday night’s game against a Patriots’ defense glittered with college-level talent.

But the former H.L. Bourgeois starting quarterback found himself at the middle of a social media scandal after the game when John Curtis linebacker Mike Corcoran told the team was motivated after reading a tweet from Broggi that said “Curtis can read a playbook, but they can’t read a picture book.”

It was an allegation that made Brother Martin head coach Mark Bonis say that he “can’t stand” social media.

And upon further review, Bonis said the tweets were made under an account named “Not Jake Broggi,” meaning that it was all a hoax.

Fake or not, it inspired John Curtis’ efforts.

“That fired us up,” Corcoran added. The Curtis linebacker had a pick-six in the win.

The loss ended Brother Martin’s season with a 10-3 record – one win short of the dome.

For John Curtis, they moved to the Division I State Championship game where they will meet Class 5A powerhouse Jesuit. The Blue Jays upset two-time defending champions Rummel by a 28-14 margin on Saturday night.

In Division II, a local coach will be competing for a chance at another title, as South Lafourche-born Jay Mayet led Parkview Baptist to the State Finals in a 29-20 win over St. Charles.

The former South Lafourche High School graduate will look for another state championship on Saturday when his squad takes on University High in the State Finals.

Parkview won the state championship in 2012 – a rout over Notre Dame.

The South Terrebonne football team took an 8-point halftlme lead on Friday night against Plaquemlne. But the Gators defense couldn’t consistently hold up In the second half, surrendering big drives and points. The loss ends South Terrebonne’s season with an 11-2 record.