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Mustangs drop nail-biter to St. Martinville

Assumption Dontrez Wiggins (21) tries to break the tackle of St. Martinville's Zachary Koonce during the first half of Friday's game in Napoleonville. (Photo by Abby Tabor/Staff)

When asked if he thought Friday's home game would come down to the team that had the ball last, Assumption coach Tony Paine sort of shook his head and nodded in agreement.

After turning the ball over on downs with under 6:15 remaining, Paine said he knew the game might end with his team trailing 27-26.

Paine was right, as the Mustangs dropped its second tough one in-a-row to the visiting St. Martinville Tigers.

"I knew it would be a slugfest," Paine said. "After watching film on them, the only thing I told them about them was man for man it is an even matchup. I'm proud of my guys for the effort and heart they played with, but like with life sometimes it doesn't work out for you. We 0-2 right now by a margin of four points. We're close, but we just aren't there yet.

Holding an 18-13 lead, Assumption looked to add to its lead early in the third quarter after getting the ball in good field position on its opening possession.

But, instead of putting together a solid drive, the Mustangs were forced to punt.

The Tigers then went on a 7 play, 54-yard drive capped off by a Quentin Mitchell 12-yard keeper to give his team a 20-18 lead with 7:53 remaining in the third quarter.

After unsuccessful possessions by each team, Assumption got back in front on a Daron Williams touchdown toss to a streaking Tre' Franklin to make the score 26-20 following a successful two-point conversion by Williams at the 5:22 mark.

On two separate occasions down the stretch, Assumption would find itself in the redzone, but unable to score.

The go ahead touchdown for St. Martinville came at the 10:45 mark of the fourth quarter on another Mitchell keeper. Instead of 12 yards, Mitchell ran it in from 22 yards out to give the Tigers their winning edge.

"I can't say enough about my group of guys," St. Martinville coach Danny Carroll said. "This Assumption team we played is a heck of a team. I was proud of how we kept competing late in the game. I thought our conditioning was good, and thankfully we were able to make the plays when we needed to."

The Mustangs jumped out fast to begin the game scoring on each of their first two possessions.

After forcing a four-and-out, Assumption started its first drive of the contest at its own 29-yard line.

Eleven plays later, the Mustangs found the end zone on a 2-yard keeper by Williams. Followed a failed extra point attempt, the score stood at 6-0 with 5:17 remaining in the opening period.

Dontrez Wiggins, who finished the night with 161 yards on 30 carries, accounted for 58 of his teams' yards on 10 rushes during the drive.

The Mustangs got back to work on its next possession after forcing a three-and-out on defense.

Starting at its own 20, Assumption marched 80 yards 13 plays to make it a 12-0 contest at the 10:53 mark of the second quarter.

The key play came on a fourth-and-4 from the Tigers 42 when Williams hooked up with Joshua Brown for a 7-yard completion to give his team a first down at the St. Martinville 35. Four plays later, Williams rushed 16 yard up the middle for the score.

Not to be out done, St. Martinville answered with an 11 play, 63-yard drive to cut its deficit to 12-6 with 7:14 left in the half. Malik Anthony capped off the series with a 2-yard carry on first-and-goal.

St. Martinville took the lead on its next possession thanks to another Anthony run around left end. This time Anthony rushed it in from 19 yards away to put the Tigers in front 13-12 with 1:39 remaining in the half.

With only 1:32 showing on the clock, Assumption drove 64 yards on five plays to grab the lead back at 18-13. A big 46-yard completion from Williams to Denzell Johnson helped set up a 2-yard Wiggins touchdown run.