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Mustangs trample Gators, 49-20

BOURG — Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, according to the old sports adage.

Assumption got a little of the former and was plenty of the latter Friday night in its District 8-4 battle with South Terrebonne.

Tied at 14 late in the second quarter, the Mustangs converted a fourth down, then recovered an onside kick and a Gators fumble to score three touchdowns in a 30-secon span and break open the game for an eventual 49-20 victory at South Terrebonne Memorial Stadium.

"Watching the film this week, a majority of South Terrebonne's games have been close in the first half, and the ball somehow seems to not bounce their way," Mustangs coach Anthony Paine. "(Friday night) it bounced our way."

"You can't beat too people many doing that," Gators coach Richard Curlin said of the half minute scoring barrage.

South Terrebonne (1-5, 0-2 district) scored first on a heads-up special teams play. The Gators punted to Assumption's Dejuawn Oliver after their initial possession. While a group of Gators stood Oliver up, Samuel White stripped him of the ball and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. The point after by Matt Benoit was good, giving South Terrebonne a 7-0 lead at the 9:43 mark.

Assumption (5-2, 2-0 district) responded with an 11-play, 65-yard, 5-minute drive that ended on a Slye Ourso 2-yard touchdown run. Mustangs quarterback Cameron Blame (10-of-17, 243 yards, 5 TD passes) ran in the two-point conversion to put Assumption on top 8-7 with 4:33 left in the first quarter.

On their next drive, Blame found a wide open Dewayne Jackson for a 49-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the first quarter to give Assumption a 14-7 advantage.

The Gators answered late in the second quarter with an eight-play drive. Justin Johnson (12 rushes, 49 yards) took a handoff around right end and stretched the ball over the plane of the goal line for a 11-yard touchdown run. The PAT tied the game 14-14 with 2:30 before halftime.

Then Blame and Oliver took over the game for Assumption.

On fourth-and-6 at the Gators 48-yard line, Blame found Oliver (7 catches, 180 yards, 3 TDs) uncovered in the middle of the field. From there Oliver raced up the left sideline for a touchdown. Acquindas Brown (16 rushes, 70 yards) took an option toss into the end zone for the two-point conversion, to put Assumption ahead 22-14 with 1:20 remaining

Assumption shanked the ensuing kickoff and recovered the ball on its own 49-yard line. On the next play, Blame hit Oliver on a 51-yard touchdown pass to give Assumption a 28-14 lead with 1:09 remaining.

"The onside kick wasn't planned," Paine said. "The kid just foul kicked the ball and it happened to bounce right back to us."

Johnson took the ensuing kickoff and was hit at the 15-yard line, causing a fumble that was recovered by Assumption's Dontrez Wiggins. Blame found Oliver in the corner of the end zone on the next play for a touchdown, giving the Mustangs a 34-14 halftime lead.

"We're better than this, and that's the frustrating thing about it," Curlin said. "They know that. They're frustrated too. We have to quit making the same mistakes over and over again."

"When we're on, we're pretty tough to beat," Paine said. "At times I was impressed with them. At other times I got to get on them. It shouldn't have to be like that, but they're kids."

Assumption wore down the Gators defense in the second half with its rushing attack and scored touchdowns on its opening two possessions.

Blame capped an eight-play drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Malik Mills in the third quarter, and Tucker ended a 12-play drive, 79-yard line drive with a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth.

South Terrebonne quarterback James LeBlanc (8-of-15, 121 yards, TD, INT) concluded the scoring with a 42-yard touchdown pass to Jerrion Sauceberry with 9:41 left in the fourth quarter. Beniot's PAT try was blocked by the Mustangs Eric Nichols.

With three game left in the season and injuries piling up for the Gators, Curlin said he hopes his younger kids can step up and fill in key spots.

"We've got to get our head up, realize that we're playing pretty much for pride now and go out on beat some teams," Curlin said.

As for Paine, he wants his squad to put together four solid quarters of football, not just play well in spurts.

"We need to start games with our hair on fire," Paine said. "Next Friday night's game is going to be a big one. We've got Elijah (McGuire) and Vandebilt coming to our house. Everybody knows it's going to be the game of the week."