Lutcher’s defense stands tall in 17-7 win over Teurlings

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 26, 2011



LUTCHER — Nobody likely expected that the score would be only 10-7 with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter in host Lutcher’s quarterfinal clash with Teurlings Catholic. But that’s exactly what the scoreboard read, and it was time for Rebels coach Sonny Charpentier to make a faithful decision.

Teurlings elected to go for it on a fourth and seven play from its own 48, rather than punt the ball back to Lutcher. The move backfired, LHS stopping the Rebels on fourth down. 11 plays later, Lutcher’s Darez Joseph plowed into the endzone amid roars from his teammates and the crowd, and Lutcher had all but salted away a 17-7 playoff victory.

“I thought field position was critical in the second half,” said Lutcher coach Tim Detillier. “We flipped that around. It won’t show up in the box score, but that was a big deal for us.”

It was a sweet win for the Bulldogs, who advance to face Karr in the Class 4A quarterfinals. Teurlings knocked Lutcher out of the playoffs in last season’s regional round.

It looked like it could be the case again, with a trip to the semifinals up for grabs in the game’s final stanza.

Teurlings faced fourth and seven from its own 48 early in the fourth quarter when ULL commitment D’Shaie Landor dropped back to pass and rolled to his right. He was chased and hurried by Lutcher’s Blake Roussel; his pass sailed out of bounds, enabling LHS to take over in enemy territory.

“We recognized the down and distance, and what they had been doing in those situations,” said Lutcher defensive back Jordan Batiste. “The slants and quick hitters. We got in on those.”

Daniel Taylor got LHS rolling with a 7-yard run. Matherne hit DiJohn Payne for another 7 yard gain, then Matherne used his legs to gain 12 on a scramble. Taylor carried for five yards; a personal foul was then levied against Teurlings, putting the ball at the eight. Lutcher would face a fourth and goal from the 1 on the final play of the drive, and a handoff up the middle to Joseph took care of things.

Teurlings had two more shots at it, but would not cross their own 47; with 3:30 left, its best chance to get back into it was thwarted when Roussel and Joseph stopped Zach LeFleur in the backfield on a fourth down run.

Teurlings got off to a strong start after a long opening kickoff return, Landor capping the opening drive with a 12-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 with 6:50 left in the first quarter.

“We learned from our mistakes on that drive,” said Batiste. “We played a more disciplined game after that. We did what we practiced all week.”

LHS responded on the first play of the second quarter, Daniel Taylor converting on a 22-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

Lutcher took its first lead with 8:10 to go in the third, and it perhaps forshadowed a change in the Bulldogs’ luck against a Rebels team that had eliminated it in two previous playoff encounters; Spencer Roussel converted a 36-yard field goal when it hit the inside of the right upright and bounced in for 3, making it 10-7.

“I felt like we didn’t get any breaks in the first half, but we did in the second,” said Detillier.

Both defenses stood tall for much of the night, and neither gave up the big play.

Teurlings missed on a golden opportunity early in the second quarter after their second kickoff return of the night was again returned a long way, this one going 66 yards. The Rebels had the ball at the LHS 5, but a blocked field goal by LHS’ Londres Johnson ended the threat. Another potential scoring drive stalled when LHS recorded a stop on fourth and one on its own 28.

Lutcher rushed for 220 yards, 189 of that on the legs on Taylor.

Ruston Matherne attempted just 10 passes, completing eight for 67 yards and no interceptions.

“They were very respectful of our passing attack, and I think they overplayed it to that end,” said Detillier. “A lot of people say they take what the defense gives. But do they really do it? I’m blessed with a coaching staff that sets out to do just that, and we relied on the running game tonight.”

Landor was 12 of 33 for 83 yards and rushed 19 times for 52 yards.

Trevor Englade made his return from injury to the LHS lineup, catching three passes for 21 yards; Englade had missed all of Lutcher’s previous games after sustaining an injury in the preseason.

Batiste smiled when asked whether the game carried extra meaning due to the opponent; but he also said Lutcher has bigger fish to fry.

“It’s a great thing,” he said. “Obviously, we were a little more pumped tonight. But our goal is still to win state. We aren’t that excited yet.”