Neville derails Lutcher’s perfect season

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 5, 2009


SPECIAL TO L’Observateur

It wasn’t a howl of victory that came from Lutcher’s “Dog Yard”. It was a howl of disappointment as the previously undefeated (13-0) Bulldogs ran into a buzz saw as the #2 seeded Neville Tigers came to town on a mission and blew the #3 seeded Bulldogs out 42-0 in the semifinals of the Class 4A state football playoffs.

Earlier in the week Lutcher head coach Tim Detillier said that if he had a choice between speed or size he would choose speed. If he knew what the field conditions would be like Friday night he would want to rethink his position.

The great equalizer this night was the pouring rain and the strong, gusty winds that neutralized the Bulldog speed and played right into the hands of Neville’s punishing straight ahead running attack. Of note was the fact that the Tigers didn’t attempt a pass in the entire game.

Neville didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard. On their first possession they marched 45 yards on 11 plays to draw first blood with 4:11 left in the first. The Tiger’s big quarterback took it in from one yard out for the score. The extra point by Matthew Squyres was good for a 7-0 lead.

Lutcher’s Joshua Boudreaux and Jordan Batiste made some fine plays on defense but could not keep the Tiger’s from scoring.

On Lutcher’s second possession Gavin Webster, the heart and soul of the Bulldog offense, had his third throw of the evening intercepted by Neville’s John Diarse to stymie the drive.

The Tigers (12-1) made them pay scoring again on only three plays from Lutcher’s 22-yardline as Burch scored another one-yard touchdown. The PAT was blocked to keep the Neville lead to 13-0 with only 2:06 showing on the scoreboard.

After trading possessions Lutcher (13-1) was forced to punt and had the kick blocked. Neville took over on the Bulldog 31-yardline and scored again on only four plays.

This time Jeremy Runner took it 12 yards for a Neville touchdown and a 20-0 margin.

On the ensuing kickoff the Lutcher return team contributed to the carnage. The catch was muffed and when the mud cleared Neville had the ball again this time at the Lutcher 34-yardline.

Six plays later and with only :38 left in the half the Tigers pushed across another score as Burch scored his third touchdown of the night this one coming from four yards out. Burch also scored on the two-point conversion to make the halftime score 28-0 as the Lutcher faithful looked on in disbelief.

On Neville’s second possession of the second half they capitalized on some great field position and drove 36 yards on two plays to score.

Neville’s big running back Cedrico Pollard rumbled 29 yards for the touchdown.

Lutcher fumbled the Tiger kickoff again setting Neville’s powerhouse running game up on the Bulldog 30-yardline.

Three plays later Runner took it 24 yards for the final Tiger touchdown of the evening and a 42-0 drubbing of the Bulldogs.

Due to the terrible field conditions Lutcher’s usually potent offense was reduced to a standstill as the Bulldogs could only put up roughly 146 total yards.

They also committed six turnovers in the losing effort. Webster completed only one pass on five attempts for eight yards. He was the leading rusher for Lutcher with 122 yards on the ground.

Pollard led the way for Neville, rushing for 132 yards.

Lutcher headman Detillier took the loss like a champion saying, “There are no words to describe how I feel right now.

“I am so disappointed for the team. We set a goal at the beginning of the season to go all the way and we wouldn’t be satisfied with anything short of that.

“We turned the ball over more tonight than we have all season.”