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Bulldogs’ defense guiding the way to regionals

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 18, 1998

LUTCHER – The Lutcher Bulldogs will be making their first appearance in the regional playoffs for the first time since 1995 when they travel to Pan American Stadium to play Booker T. Washington Friday night.Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.Lutcher (9-2) advanced to the regionals with a 21-14 upset of No. 6-ranked Redemptorist last Friday. The Bulldogs rallied from a 14-0 deficitat the end of the first quarter.

T.R. Ricks got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard before the half with a 38-yard touchdown pass to Kenneth Johnson. Johnson tied the score in thethird quarter and Ricks put the Bulldogs ahead to stay with a 6-yard pass to Damian Ursin.

Ricks finished the game with 16 completions in 26 attempts for 175 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson had six catches for 101 yards and the score.Ursin led all rushers with 42 yards on 17 carries.

Defense and special teams set the tone in the game. Redemptorist’s ShawnLambert returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a score and Vernon Jones set up the Wolves’ second score with an interception at the Lutcher 36-yard line. The Wolves also stopped the Bulldogs three times in the redzone.

The Bulldogs answered by holding the Wolves to 69 total yards and coming up with a couple of key turnovers themselves. James Williams returned aninterception 25 yards to set up the Bulldogs’ winning score. And withRedemptorist driving for the tying score in the final minutes, Bernard Riley picked off a pass at the Lutcher 28-yard line and returned it 66 yards.

That defense will be facing the top quarterback in the metro area in Class 3A in Booker T. Washington’s John Carter. Carter led the Lions (5-6) to a21-18 victory over E.D. White last Friday, completing 16 passes for 183yards and rushing for two touchdowns.

During the regular season, in which the Lions captured the District 11-3A championship, Carter completed 140 of his 276 passes for 1,812 yards and 14 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Samuel Squire was also among themetro leaders with 42 catches for 559 yards and two scores.

The defense, which forced three turnovers Friday night, is led by seniors Sidney Nicholas on the defensive line and Teddy McCann at linebacker.

Whoever comes out on top will play the winner of the Notre Dame- Washington-Marion game in the quarterfinals next week.

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