Bulldogs top Tigers in thriller

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009



Often, big games don’t live up to the hype.

Lutcher/Hahnville was decidedly not one of those occasions.

Because whether one was a Bulldogs fan or a Tiger backer, Lutcher’s 42-34 victory in double overtime over hosting Hahnville likely sent each fan home knowing he or she had seen something special.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time. This was up there,” said Lutcher coach Tim Detillier. “This was a classic, in every sense. I told Coach Valdin after the game, there were no losers in that one.”

Lutcher quarterback Gavin Webster’s long ago made his name in this area as one of its elite athletes. But he truly outdid himself on Friday night. He ran 32 times for 303 yards and five touchdowns against one of the state’s elite defensive teams.

“They didn’t even have to throw,” said Hahnville coach Lou Valdin. If you can run it in from 80 yards, why throw? He didn’t have to.”

Said Detillier: He can do it all. Even with an empty backfield, we’ve got a pretty good running game with Gavin Webster. And to do that against that kind of a team, it goes to show the kind of player he is.”

It was the final nine yards of Webster’s night that proved the most memorable. His 9-yard score in the second overtime of the night was followed by his two-point pass to Nicholas Dornier to make it 42-34, and Hahnville couldn’t answer.

“I really thought we were overmatched,” said Detillier. “Hahnville’s size and strength…our kids played with a passion. They would not be denied.”

The overtime periods were preceded by a mad Hahnville scramble to erase a 10-point deficit and extend the game.

After Webster’s fourth touchdown of the night, a 32-yard run, put Lutcher ahead 34-24 with 5:55 left, it took only 1:23 for the Tigers to strike back via Alfred Blue’s 5-yard touchdown run, drawing HHS within three. The Tiger defense forced a Bulldogs punt, and Hahnville would drive into field goal range – aided by two personal foul penalties against Lutcher – where Brion James made a clutch kick from 41 yards away with five seconds left to force overtime.

Hahnville’s first attempt to score in overtime failed when Jarvis Landry picked off HHS quarterback Brian Ensminger. But Lutcher failed to answer after reaching the Hahnville 1-yard line on its first chance. The Tigers stopped LHS twice at the goal to force a second overtime.

“I’m proud of the way we fought to come back,” said Valdin. “That’s the difference between this year’s team and last year’s. We fight through adversity.”

But Webster wouldn’t be denied in the second overtime.

The Tigers squandered two early opportunities to score when Alfred Blue lost two fumbles inside the LHS 5 in the first quarter.

“Losing this game might help us more than having won,” said Valdin. “Because we learned that we can’t turn the ball over and win games.”

Daniel Taylor started things off for Lutcher by scoring on a 54-yard run to make it 6-0 late in the first quarter after a missed extra point.

Early in the second, Hahnville drew within one on Ensminger’s 8-yard scoring pass to Lloyd Richard, making it 7-6 after the extra point.

Each team scored within the last 1:40 of the half. Lutcher took a 14-6 lead on Webster’s second score of the night, a 1-yard run, and a two-point pass to Jeffery Deslatte. But just before halftime, Ensminger hit Dontrell Strickland on a fourth down play from six yards out to tie the game.

LHS struck quickly in the second half – it took only 12 seconds for Webster to rip off an 80-yard scoring run. Blue’s 26-yard touchdown dash tied the game. Hahnville regained the lead on the first play of the fourth quarter on a 29-yard field goal attempt. However, it took all of 19 seconds for Webster to run for his second 80-yard rushing touchdown of the night to put Lutcher back on top.

“When you play a team like Lutcher,” said Valdin, “you learn what your weaknesses are. We’re a better team for having played them.”

He credited the LHS offensive line for making things extremely difficult for his team.

“It’s the difference between this Lutcher team and others we’ve seen. That line is the best they’ve had,” Valdin said.

Ensminger finished with 339 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. James Butler was his leading receiver with six catches for 146 yards.

For Lutcher, Taylor ran for 79 yards on 10 carries.