South Terrebonne junior Colby Chelette can play just about anywhere on the field for the Gators.
On Friday night, he was at running back.
And oh, did he run — powering his team to a Week 1 win.
The Gators beat H.L. Bourgeois 31-14, improving to 1-0 with the season-opening win.
Chelette was a force, rushing for more than 200 yards and three scores.
His play caught the attention of Gators’ assistant coach Justin Lirette, who said it was a point of inspiration for the team.
“He’s a football player,” Lirette said on Saturday. “He can play offense for us, but if we put him in on defense, there’s no drop off. He just makes plays. He’s that kind of athlete and that kind of player and he was special for us.”
But the Gators’ defense was big in the win, too.
They forced a turnover early in the game when an H.L. Bourgeois shotgun snap was muffed, which gave South Terrebonne the ball inside the 10-yard-line.
One play later, Chelette muscled in to put the Gators in front 7-0.
With the lead, South Terrebonne settled in, continually forcing defensive stops, which handed the ball back to the Gators.
With opportunities, Chelette did more damage, breaking two second-quarter touchdown runs to make the game 21-0 at halftime.
Lirette said he was proud of the way South Terrebonne’s defense fought against a Braves team that has athletes.
“We did a good job up front,” Lirette said. “If you can win at the point of attack, you can make things happen and I think we did a good job at the line of scrimmage keeping their offense out of rhythm.”
In the second half, South Terrebonne showed off their passing game muscles when quarterback Michael Gautreaux found receiver Peyton Parr on a 26-yard strike to put the Gators up 28-0.
South Terrebonne coach Richard Curlin has said throughout the offseason that he likes Parr — a converted defensive back who now is having the opportunity to make plays on offense.
Curlin said he also likes Gautreaux, who managed the game well in the victory.
“He has experience,” Curlin said earlier this season. “And with our offense, that’s important — having those reps. He knows what the defenses are doing to him and he really handles our offense well.”
In the final stages of the game, the Braves got going.
Quarterback Jordan Rainey capped a scoring drive late in the third quarter to cut the lead to 28-7.
After a Gators field goal made it 31-7, Ty Henry punched in a late-game score to send the game the game to its final margin — a 31-14 win for the Gators.
Lirette said the Braves are on the ups and are a better football team than the final score of the game would indicate.
But when asked to be nitpicky, he said he thought his defense let up a little with a big lead — something they’ll work on this week at practice.
“I thought we got complacent,” Lirette said. “I think we got a little bit satisfied and took our foot off the accelerator a little bit. That’s something we’ll address because we know we can’t do that going forward.
THE WEEK AHEAD
South Terrebonne will travel and take on Berwick on Friday, another 1-0 football team.
The Panthers blitzed Morgan City 39-0 on Friday night and Lirette said they’re a diverse offense that can hit with both the run and the pass.
The Braves will take on E.D. White at home. That’ll be no cupcake. The Cardinals are 1-0 after beating Vandebilt and are looking like one of the best defensive groups in the Houma-Thibodaux area.
Before the Gators and Braves took the field on Friday night, there was a ribbon cutting for the new turf field at The Swamp.
Dignitaries from around the area gathered to celebrate the field — just 7 days after the first ribbon cutting at Tom B. Smith Stadium a week prior.
Lirette said it was great to open the new field with the win, adding that the best part of all was what happened after the game: nothing.
There was no work needed to restore the field, unlike in years past.
“Coach Barba looked at us in the locker room and said, ‘Man, we really tore up the field tonight, didn’t we?’” Lirette joked. “And we joked about how we’d need to go roll the field and get it ready for next week. It’s a great thing for us. There’s so much less stress. But the irony is — we have the fields, and wouldn’t you know it? The past 2 weeks, it’s not rained. There’s not been a cloud in the sky.”
LOCAL CLASS 4A SCOREBOARD
South Terrebonne 31, H.L. Bourgeois 14
St. Charles Catholic 31, South Lafourche 3
Assumption 20, Donaldsonville 0
E.D. White 14, Vandebilt 6
Ellender 47, Thomas Jefferson 8
Berwick 39, Morgan City 0