Last-minute score lifts Lutcher to 9-3A title

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 30, 1999

LUTCHER – One could have called it the Battle between the East Bank and the West Bank, or the battle of two quarterbacks who wear jersey No. 1, orthe Battle for the District 9-3A championship.

Whatever you called it, Friday night’s game between St. James Parishrivals Lutcher High and St. James High was a real barn-burner. Both teamsplayed hard, and for awhile it looked like the game would go into overtime.

But with the score tied at 17-17 and 30 seconds left in the game, Lutcher managed to find a way to score, and after game-ending two point conversion Lutcher went home the 9-3A champions by a score of 25-17.

This was a game in which passing helped the Bulldogs to win, even though most of the scoring was done by the run. Quarterback Thomas Ricks had177 yards passing with 22 attempts, nine completions, one touchdown and one interception. St. James had 55 yards passing, and Corey Webster onlyhad nine attempts with two completions.

Both teams had 82 yards rushing, and Lutcher’s Jerron Wishom had the highest yardage with 36 yards. The strangest stat of the evening belongedto Damian Ursin, who ended up with zero net yards rushing but still ran in the game-winning touchdown. St. James’ defense held him back most ofthe evening.

Both teams went into this game undefeated in district play, but after last week’s last-minute defeat by Covington, the Lutcher Bulldogs were in no mood for losing again, and they were looking for blood.

In fact, they were the first team to draw blood. The Wildcats received thekickoff, but quarterback Corey Webster fumbled the ball on the third down and Lutcher’s Demond Bell recovered on the St. James’ 29-yard line.The Bulldogs drove the ball down to the 3-yard line, and William Adams ran it in for the first score of the evening.

When the Wildcats got their hands on the ball they seemed to be lackluster, missing passes and failing to gain any yardage. When theypunted on fourth down, Lutcher was called for clipping on the run back, and amid a roar of boos from the Lutcher fans, the Wildcats were able to get the ball back on the Bulldogs’ 43-yard line. The penalty seemed to give theWildcats some real incentive and they ran the ball all the way to the 12- yard line and Travell Stieb ran it in for a touchdown. Alvin Bartholomewkicked the point after and the score was tied 7-7.

Lutcher held on to the ball all the way into the beginning of the second quarter with a combination of passing and rushing. But on a third and 10 onthe Wildcats’ 25-yard line Ricks threw an interception to Cedric Vaughn.

The turnover didn’t help St. James at all, in fact the Wildcats ended upwith negative yardage. They punted away and the Bulldogs took over ontheir own 49-yard line. They moved the ball down to the 12-yard line, butthe Wildcat defense stopped them and on fourth and 12, T.J. Bourgeoiskicked a 29-yard field goal.

St. James took over with less than two minutes to play in the half, and a45-yard pass to Davin Dennis set up Bartholomew to kick in a 32-yard field goal. The half ended with a 10-10 tie.Lutcher came out in the second half full of fire and ran the ball 50 yards down field before Ricks was intercepted by Wildcat Atari Raymond.

Taking over on its own 26, St. James ran the ball back almost 80 yards,and Devon Dabney ran it in for an 8-yard score. The point after was good,and St. James went on top for the first time in the game 17-10.Lutcher took over but fumbled after seven plays. St. James took over onthe Lutcher 47 but ended up punting after the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Both teams traded the ball back and forth, unable to make any headway, then with 3:47 left to play in the game Ricks managed to connect with Chris Johnson for a 24-yard touchdown pass. Bourgeois kicked the extrapoint and again the score was tied at 17-17.

St. James gets the ball back, but Webster fumbled on the first play andLutcher’s Doyle Oubre recovered on the Wildcats’ 26-yard line. TheBulldogs run the ball back down to the 1-yard line and with 30 seconds left in the game Ursin ran the ball in for the winning touchdown. Just tomake sure, Ricks hit Risely St. Germain in the end zone for a two-pointconversion.

St. James tried to run the ball back, but Webster was intercepted for thesecond time that evening, and the Bulldogs won 25-17 making them District 9-3A champs.

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