Tigers beat Pats 13-8 on final drive

Terrebonne moves on; Bourgeois season ends
November 7, 2006
Bad driving ends with drug arrest
November 9, 2006
Terrebonne moves on; Bourgeois season ends
November 7, 2006
Bad driving ends with drug arrest
November 9, 2006

(Posted Nov. 7, 2006)

Friday night’s game between the Thibodaux Tigers and Ellender Patriots may not have been a playoff game, but by the way both teams played no one would know.

After both teams played three scoreless quarters, the Tigers used late game heroics and eventually left Bourg with a 13-8 win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and shatter Ellender’s.

Down 8-7 with just over one minute to play, the Tigers took over at their own 17-yard line. Eleven plays later, Adrian Joseph found the end zone from two yards out to put the Tigers up 13-7 with 25 seconds left to play.

Thibodaux Head Coach Lenny Ford said his team learned the importance of playing 48 minutes and credited the character of his team.

“If you have got a team with a little character, then they are going to play the whole game,” Ford said. “I’m very proud of our players and very happy for our seniors.”

Ellender Head Coach Tawaskie Anderson said even though it was a loss, he is proud of his team’s effort.

“We just didn’t finish,” Anderson said. “We win together, we lose together, it was not a certain phase of the game, we just didn’t make the plays when it counted.”

The first half, although scoreless, started out unexpectedly.

On the opening kickoff, the Patriots (4-6, 2-4) opted to go for the onside and recovered the ball at the Tigers 37 yard line. However, the Tigers defense held the Patriots to a three and out, which forced them to punt.

The Tigers (4-6, 3-3) got the ball to the Patriots 23-yard line but failed to convert on a 40-yard field goal, giving the ball back to the Patriots.

Each team traded possessions and both missed scoring opportunities before halftime.

Midway through the second quarter, the Patriots got the ball to the Tigers 16-yard line but the 33-yard field goal was no good.

On the ensuing possession, the Tigers fumbled on the Patriots 11-yard line to kill another scoring opportunity as the half ended 0-0.

Ford said even though his defense was banged up, they hung in there.

“Our defense played well mostly,” Ford said. “We broke down in certain areas but that is because we had guys who have not played in a while.”

The scoring drought finally ended in the final quarter when the Tigers put together a 14-play drive capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by Joseph with 3:51 to play.

During the scoring drive, the Tigers faced a fourth and one when Patriots’ linemen Ardale Burns was drawn offsides to keep the drive alive. The Tigers scored six plays later to take a late 7-0 lead.

The Patriots responded on the ensuing kickoff when Cleveland Jones faked a reverse and went 53 yards to the Tiger 23 yard line.

Three plays later, Hosea Chatman found Bradford Matthews for 26 yards down to the two-yard line where Jonathon Guidry scored on the next play with 3:00 remaining.

Instead of taking the traditional one point, Anderson opted to go for two. Guidry delivered again and the Patriots led 8-7.

On the winning drive, Tigers quarterback James Steib completed passes of one, 14 and 18 yards to set up the winning touchdown.

The Tigers finished the night with 272 total yards and 17 first downs, while the Patriots finished with 133 total yards and seven first downs.

Steib led the Tigers going 9-19 for 119 yards while the Patriots were led by Jesse Turner, who finished the night with 55 yards on 15 carries.

With the loss the Patriots season ended without earning a trip to the playoffs.

“We had a great season but we still won’t be satisfied with this,” Anderson said. “We win together, we lose together, it was not a certain phase of the game. We just didn’t make the plays when it counted.”

Anderson added, “We know what it’s like to get close, and next year we just want to finish and get over that hump. We have to get that sour taste out of our mouth.”