The fairy tale ride is over for the Terrebonne High School football team.
Their defeat officially ends the 2018 high school football season in the Houma-Thibodaux area.
The Tigers lost 31-14 at Destrehan in the Class 5A State Quarterfinals on Friday, ending the team’s season with an 11-2 record — their deepest playoff push since the 1990s.
LSU commitment and Destrehan senior John Emery was huge in the win for the Wildcats, rushing for four scores and more than 200 yards.
His night spoiled a strong defensive effort from Terrebonne, which also lost to the Wildcats in Week 10 — the only two losses of the season for the team.
“This has been such an amazing ride,” Terrebonne coach Gary Hill said after the team’s playoff win against Ouachita Parish. “The kids couldn’t have been any better. No matter where this ride ends or where it goes, we will always be able to look back and say that this was a great year and we’re so proud of everyone who’s been part of that.”
This game was a struggle in the first 24 minutes.
The Wildcats moved Terrebonne with ease in Week 10, but they didn’t enjoy the same success early in the Quarterfinal Playoff matchup.
Destrehan had several possessions ear
in the game, but none which amounted to points as the pesky, aggressive Tigers’ defense answers all the attempts the Wildcats made to either run or pass.
The Wildcats did score midway through the second quarter to take the lead on a short field goal to go ahead 3-0.
But that score held through halftime as the defenses dominated the game.
Like Destrehan’s offense, Terrebonne couldn’t get anything going, either, as the Wildcats’ front 7 dominated the line of scrimmage and kept the Tigers’ spread offense completely out of rhythm.
In the second half, the teams opened up and got some points.
And Emery was just too much for the Tigers, scoring four times in the final 14:04 of the game.
The first score came on a long Wildcats drive which Emery capped with a short strike to go up 10-0 late in the third quarter.
After an empty Terrebonne possession, the five-star recruit and prized member of LSU’s class, put the game out of reach with an 11-yard scamper to go up 17-0 with 10 minutes to play.
The Tigers had some moments too, though.
After an empty Terrebonne possession, the Tigers had their best play of the game on Destrehan’s next drive when Anthony Ruffin stepped in front of a JR Blood pass in the end zone and took it more than 100 yards to the house for a touchdown. After a missed extra point, the Wildcats led 17-6.
But Emery was just too much.
After the pick-six, the halfback broke two more long touchdown runs to put the Wildcats up 31-6, shattering Terrebonne’s glass slipper and effectively ending the team’s hopes.
The Tigers scored a touchdown late in the game on a short run from Jakhi Douglas. The Tigers also converted the 2-point try, which sent the game to its final margin.
With the win, Destrehan moves to the LHSAA Class 5A State Semifinals where they will face arguably their biggest challenge of the season — a date with No. 6 Zachary.
The Broncos have won the Class 5A State Championship two of the past three years and they’ve been playing arguably their best football of the season so far in the playoffs.
The Broncos have beaten Sulphur, Hahnville and Acadiana — two of the three games on the road — in their path to the Superdome. In the meeting with No. 3 Acadiana on Friday, the Broncos dominated Acadiana’s run-heavy offense, controlling the flow of the game en route to a comfortable win.
For Terrebonne, the Tigers will say goodbye to a large, talented group of seniors who helped build this Tigers program into a contender.
Hill has said several times throughout the season that replacing those guys would be difficult — both on and off the field.
But the Tigers do have a talented cupboard coming back, as well, including Douglas, several contributors on both sides of the ball and also a loaded JV and freshman roster — both teams which enjoyed success throughout 2018.
But the Tigers had their chances to go to the Dome this year and fell short and there’s no doubt that those wounds will take some time to heal — especially when the season ended at the hands of a district rival.
EDITOR’s NOTE: On behalf of the entire staff at Rushing Media, Congratulations to Coach Gary Hill and the entire Terrebonne football team on an amazing season. It’s been a pleasure covering it throughout the year. Way to make history, guys!