This football season was great on many fronts, and you’ll get to read about all of those throughout the pages of this magazine.
But for me, personally, I enjoyed it because, heck, every, single Friday night, I got a free cardiac exam.
Local fans can attest to the high drama and stressfulness of several games — back and forth affairs that weren’t decided often until the final snap was played.
So we decided to look back and crown the best of the best.
And we asked your help, too.
Below were our Top 5 Games of the Year for 2019.
No. 5 - Assumption 26, Vandebilt 20 (in overtime)
This would have maybe been No. 1 on the list had the local team won. But either way, Assumption’s battle with Vandebilt was memorable because it was such a high-stakes game. This was, in essence, the district championship game in the local Class 4A district. The Mustangs got punched in the mouth early and often by a Vandebilt defense that was opportunistic and fierce, forcing several turnovers throughout the game. Vandebilt trailed late, but scored to force overtime. In overtime, the Mustangs scored, but the Terriers had a chance to match, but a late-game fourth down pass controversially fell incomplete after what looked like pass interference in the end zone. Both teams would be OK. Both won playoff games.
No. 4 - Terrebonne 30, Destrehan 22
Terrebonne did just about everything in 2018 — except beat Destrehan. In 2019, they climbed that hill and beat their River Parish rivals. The Tigers released all of their 2018 frustration in this game, using dominant defense to control Destrehan for most of the game. Terrebonne actually had a big lead throughout most of the game, but Destrehan battled back and made it a close contest late. But the Tigers weren’t going to be denied again. They found the extra gear they needed at the end and secured a huge win to power their season.
No. 3 - South Lafourche 13, South Terrebonne 10
As sports journalists, we over use the term ‘last-second’ finish, but rarely does a game actually truly come down to the final seconds. In Week 7 in Galliano, it did, and South Lafourche got their first win of the season. The Tarpons were winless and seeking answers after being demobilized by a tough non-district schedule and also a 18-3 loss at Vandebilt. The Tarpons made subtle tweaks to their offense in Week 7, and marched down the field for a touchdown in their first drive of the game. That score held up until late in the game. Down 3, South Terrebonne was driving looking to secure the win. But the Tarpons’ defense made a late-game stop, and South Terrebonne ran out of time with the ball at the 4-yard-line — securing a wild finish and a Tarpons win.
No. 2 - Thibodaux 36, Central Lafourche 33
What’s better than cross-parish rivals locking horns when both are undefeated? Not much. What’s better than a rivalry game decided with a late-game touchdown in the final minute? Maybe nothing. Emotions were high in the middle stages of the season when Thibodaux beat Central Lafourche — a barnburner for the ages. Trojans’ halfback Deon Jenkins put forth a Herculean effort in defeat, getting the ball virtually every, single play of the second half to power the Trojans’ offense. It was almost enough. Jenkins scored late in the game to put his team ahead 33-28. But Luke Alleman had an answer. The Tigers’ 2-minute offense took the ball with zero margin for error and put it into the end zone for a late-game score and 2-point conversion to secure the win. Tigers coach Chris Dugas called it one of the best games of his entire coaching career. We agree, coach.
No. 1 - Houma Christian 34, Delcambre 28
Some things are bigger than sports. Some things transcend championship trophies, win/loss records, playoff positioning and all of the things that us nerds like to fawn over. Houma Christian’s Week 10 win over Delcambre was all of that and more. The Warriors had a rough season. They lacked numbers, and the players that they did have were young. The Warriors lost their first 9 games of the season and were non-competitive in a lot of those games, having moved up to Class 2A in 2019 — a giant leap from 1A. The Warriors announced before Week 10 began that they were going to opt out of their playoff bid (all Division III teams make the playoffs) because they knew they couldn’t be competitive against their foe. That meant their Week 10 game with Delcambre would be their final game of the season. And they rallied and won it. The Warriors’ victory is a story of perseverance, diligence and teamwork. It meant nothing in district standings, nor for postseason play. But it meant everything about teamwork and unity, and that’s what high school sports are all about.