Since before the season even started, first-year Vandebilt coach Lance Ledet has said it’s going to take his team a little time to get rolling.
“We have a lot of change,” Ledet said at Tri-Parish Media Day in August. “We know we’re going to be better at the end of the season that we are at the beginning of the season.”
The Terriers showcased some of that forward progression on Friday night against Welsh.
Vandebilt forced six turnovers, while also making a few timely offensive plays in a 21-7 win — the team’s second win in three weeks to improve to 2-3 on the young season.
For Vandebilt, it was a total team effort on Friday night.
Early in the game, Vandebilt’s offense got rolling when quarterback Gavin Daigle turned the corner and found nothing but green grass for a 51-yard touchdown run to put the Terriers up 7-0.
Daigle managed the game well for Vandebilt like he’s done for most of the season, making several plays with his legs. Ledet has called Daigle a quality playmaker.
“He can do a lot of things for us,” Ledet said. “He has the ability to both run and throw and keep the chains moving and our offense on the field.”
That 7-0 score held until the second quarter when Vandebilt struck again on a long touchdown pass from Daigle to Jean-Luc Lapeyre to go up 14-0.
Vandebilt also had another second-quarter chance after forcing a turnover, but they fumbled the football in the end zone, giving Welsh a touchback.
Just before halftime, Welsh got their only points of the game. The Greyhounds intercepted Daigle late in the first half, then showcased a quick strike offense, marching quickly down the field before halftime with a touchdown pass to cut the lead to 14-7 at halftime.
The second half was a defensive struggle.
Welsh turned over the ball repeatedly, helping the Terriers keep control of the game.
The Greyhounds’ first second-half turnover gave the ball to the Terriers on a short field. They capitalized shortly after on a short touchdown run from Daigle to go up 21-7.
After that score, both teams had chances, but neither could take advantage.
The Greyhounds turned it over repeatedly, staying out of he endzone and never seriously threatening victory.
But Vandebilt left chances on the table, too, with turnovers of their own.
But late in the game, the Terriers closed in their offense and pounded Welsh, gutting them and working down the clock to zero to secure the win.
Vandebilt will open district play next week against South Lafourche.
The Tarpons and Terriers have been somewhat mirror images of one another so far this season with struggling offenses being fed by stingy, playmaking defenses.
GATORS SECURE WIN AGAINST E.D. WHITE
Most of the chatter in the local Class 4A district centers on Assumption.
But on Friday night, South Terrebonne led the rest of the area know that they’re firmly in the mix for the district championship, as well.
The Gators beat E.D. White 14-6 on Friday night, showcasing suffocating defense, which limited the Cardinals’ opportunities at points throughout the game.
E.D. White was also its worst enemy on Friday night, committing countless penalties and making several mental mistakes, which enabled the Gators to stay in front throughout.
With the win, the Gators are now entering district play 4-1, while E.D. White dropped to 2-3.
But what’s perhaps the most important thing for the Gators is that they’re getting healthy at the right time.
South Terrebonne had been battered and bruised throughout most of non-district play, but on Friday, they got a lot of those kids back.
Jamala Ricks scored the first touchdown of the game early in the second quarter to put the Gators up 7-0.
That score held until the late third quarter when Christian Arceneaux found Peyton Parr on a long pass to go up 14-0.
E.D. White had chances — multiple chances — but could never keep ahead of the chains.
Either by penalties, lack of blocking, poor execution, or just dominant defense by the Gators, E.D. White’s offense never got going.
The Cardinals got their only points on a long touchdown reception from Branton Vicknair with just more than 4 minutes in the game to cut South Terrebonne’s lead to 14-6.
But Colby Chelette and the Gators’ powerful running game salted it away from there, running out the clock and sealing the hard-fought win.
Chelette went for more than 100 yards in the game.
He is one of the many Gators who had been limited with injury in recent weeks.
CLASS 4A/DIVISION II SCOREBOARD
St. James 35, Assumption 7
Central Lafourche 55, Ellender 27
Patterson 56, Morgan City 23
Belle Chasse 21, South Lafourche 6
South Terrebonne 14, E.D. White 6
Vandebilt 21, Welsh 7