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Big runs lead Terrebonne past Thibodaux

Terrebonne's Lance Byrd (24) looks for running room in front of quarterback Colby Stewart (left) in Terrebonne's 34-20 District 7-5A victory over Thibodaux High on Friday night at Tom B. Smith Stadium in Houma. (Photo by Chris Heller/Staff)

Speed equaled power (points) for Terrebonne High School on Friday night.

In a game with important power points on the line, Terrebonne High quarterback Colby Stewart used his speed to help his Tigers run past Thibodaux High.

Stewart broke a pair of long touchdown runs in the second half that proved to be backbreakers for his opponent as Terrebonne posted a 34-20 District 7-5A victory at Tom B. Smith Stadium in Houma.

Thibodaux made it a one-score game twice in the second half, but each time Stewart answered with a long score on the ground almost instantly off a pair of zone-read keepers around the end that were parts of a 362-yard rushing effort by Terrebonne, which had 481 yards of total offense and 14 first downs.

"Defensively, just too many big plays," Thibodaux coach Chris Dugas said. "You can't allow big plays like that and expect to win football games. You have to get some stops and force some punts, and we just didn't do that. We gave up too many big plays. It was absolutely a game of momentum. Every time we got it to a one-score game, something bad would happen."

For Thibodaux (2-4, 1-2 in district), that something bad was Stewart, who had touchdown jaunts of 61 and 69 yards in the second half for Terrebonne (4-3, 3-1 in district).

"My line was blocking really good up front. They were blocking really good all night. They had a push. I read the nose guard," Stewart said. "He went with DeShaun (Diggs) so I kept it and nobody was there because my linemen had pancaked everyone else. My teammates did a great job."

Stewart finished with 162 yards rushing and two scores and was 6-of-7 for 199 yards and two more touchdowns, and running back DeShaun Diggs had 17 carries for 108 yards.

"Last year (Stewart) was a running back and an H-receiver for us, and he has the ability to make those plays," Hill said. "This year he is learning to play the quarterback position. When you put him back there with DeShaun, you have to play assignment football. When you take one away, the other one hurts you. They took DeShaun away, and Colby did some things. Our line did a great job too. It was a great night for us."

Terrebonne, which entered 43rd in the unofficial power ratings, led 3-0 on a 32-yard field goal by Travis Manor with 4:17 left in the first quarter, and Terrebonne took a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter when Stewart scooped up a low snap on a fourth-down play, rolled to his right and found Phillip Coleman for a 29-yard touchdown pass.

Thibodaux, which entered 34th in the unofficial power ratings, made it a 10-6 game with 5:38 to go in the first half when Wesley Lassaire threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Dequan Pharagood, who split two Terrebonne defenders through the middle of the field for the score.

"Offensively, just not enough consistency," Dugas said. "At times we show signs of greatness, but at other times, we can't get it going and can't move the chains. We just didn't have enough consistency. We just have to keep working and keep getting better. I feel like our kids gave a good effort, we just gave up way too many big plays."

Terrebonne tacked on a 36-yard field goal by Manor with 43 seconds left in the first half and Terrebonne led 13-6 at halftime.

Terrebonne struck quick in the third quarter when Stewart faked the zone read run and pulled it back and hit Lance Byrd (five catches 89 yards, TD) for a 50-yard scoring strike with 10:54 on the clock, and Manor made the point after for 20-6 lead.

Thibodaux (256 total yards, 160 rushing, 12 first downs) fired right back with a seven-play drive that covered 63 yards and ended when Donta Johnson (22 carries, 147 yards, rushing TD, passing TD) tossed up 40-yard touchdown pass to Jason Richard, and Blaize Rodrigue's point after made it a 20-13 game with 7:25 left in the third quarter.

But Stewart answered with a 61-yard score just three plays later for a 27-13 Terrebonne lead with 5:17 to go in the third quarter.

Later, in the fourth quarter, Thibodaux went on an 8-play, 51-yard drive and scored when Johnson ran in from a yard out and the extra point made it a 27-20 Terrebonne lead with 11:09 left.

But Stewart answered with the 69-yard scoring jaunt, Terrebonne got an interception and then survived a bad snap deep in its own territory to emerge with the 14-point win.

"Overall, our defense played great, and the offense made plays when they had to, and we got a good effort from out special teams. All three phases played well," Hill said. "Everyone just covered for each other, and that is what you are supposed to do."