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Patriots survive H.L. Bourgeois, 54-48

Ellender's Jarred Turner (10) gets a block from teammate Thomas Johnson (15) during Friday's game in Bourg. (Photo by Jim Cenac/Correspondent)

BOURG — H.L. Bourgeois and Ellender engaged in a four-quarter scoring fest that lit up the scoreboard at South Terrebonne Memorial Stadium on Friday.

The game featured 102 points, 14 touchdowns, five lead changes and more than 1,000 total yards by both teams.

At the end, it came down to which team could get the defensive stop needed for a victory.

Ellender's defense provided just that.

Holding a 54-48 lead with 2:56 left in the fourth quarter, Ellender stopped H.L. Bourgeois three yards short of a first down on fourth-and-9, which gave the ball back to the Patriots on turnover on downs.

Needing a first down late to seal it, Patriots running back Justin Johnson picked up three of his 167 rushing yards on a critical third-down conversion that moved the chains and clinched Ellender's 54-48 nondistrict win over H.L. Bourgeois.

After the game, Ellender coach Terry Washington wiped the sweat off his forehead and sighed in relief on the close victory.

"A game like that I hate for either team to lose," Washington said. "Both teams played hard. They gave it their best shot. We took our best shot at them. Both teams threw some haymakers. It's a fun game, but I don't want to get involved in another game like this. Hats off to their team. They played hard. We're 2-0 and that's a good thing about it. We fought through adversity, so I've got to commend our team. They came to play, and we've got to get better prepared for next week."

Ellender (508 total yards, 321 rushing, 187 passing) was led by Justin Johnson (three rushing touchdown on 24 carries), quarterback Dustin Creppel (7-of-18 passing, 187 yards, two scores) and running back/receiver Jarred Turner (135 yards on 16 carries and two touchdowns; three catches for 116 yards and two scores receiving).

"They came with it, and we came with it," Turner said. "It was really about fatigue. It was about who could go the distance, and we came out on top. That's a plus. All week, we've been running gassers trying to get ready for this game. We started out sloppy, but we got it back together and won the game. We're not the type of team that gives up. We're going to fight until the end."

H.L. Bourgeois, which lost its 10th straight game, also racked up offensive yards in the game. Quarterback Todd Adkins completed 14-of-24 passes for 317 yards and five touchdowns. Other offensive leaders for the Braves (500 total yards, 317 passing, 183 rushing) were running back Ritney Coleman (16 carries for 105 yards rushing; five catches for 64 yards), receiver Chris Harris (six catches for 139 yards and two scores) and athlete Tylone Johnson (five carries for 75 yards rushing and a score; four catches for 109 yards receiving and two scores).

In the end, first-year Braves coach Daron Franklin said the Braves (0-2) inability to tackle cost them the game.

"The biggest thing was tackling," Franklin said. "That falls on me as the head coach and defensive coordinator. If we make tackles, we win the game hands down. We can't ask our offense to put up more than 48 points every game. We just can't make tackles, and that's my fault. We're going to work on that at practice."

Ellender started it all off with a 74-yard touchdown pass from Creppel to Turner on their first play from scrimmage. The two-point conversion attempt was good, and Ellender led 8-0 with 10:47 left in the first quarter.

H.L. Bourgeois quickly answered back on the first play of the next drive when Adkins tossed a screen pass that Coleman took 60 yards for a touchdown. The two-point attempt failed, and Ellender held a 8-6 advantage early in the first.

After getting a turnover on downs stop and recovering a fumble on consecutive drives, H.L. Bourgeois scored two touchdowns on a 1-yard touchdown run from Adkins and another on a 61-yard pass from Adkins to Tylone Johnson to go up 20-8 with 4:57 left in the opening quarter.

Following a 44-yard kickoff return from Dan Mitchell, Ellender got a 1-yard touchdown run from Justin Johnson to cut the score to 20-16 after a successful two-point conversion.

But H.L. Bourgeois' offense stuck again in one play on its next drive, getting a 85-yard score on a pass from Adkins to Harris to extend its lead to 28-16 with 2:38 remaining in the first quarter.

After getting gashed by big plays in the first quarter, Ellender's defense held H.L. Bourgeois scoreless in the second quarter. The Patriots offense piled up the points in the second quarter, using a 10-yard touchdown run from Turner and a pair of 5-yard and 2-yard scoring runs from Justin Johnson to take a 38-28 advantage at halftime.

In third quarter, Turner scored his third touchdown of the game by taking a screen pass into the end zone from 29 yards out to put Ellender ahead 46-28.

The Braves cut it to 46-36 when Adkins threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Harris with 6:07 left in the third quarter.

After H.L. Bourgeois' defense recovered a fumble at its 32, Tylone Johnson scored on a 1-yard touchdown run that cut Ellender's lead to 46-42 with 11:11 left in the fourth quarter. The Braves' quick strike offense scored again when Tylone Johnson took a shovel pass from Adkins 32 yards for the go ahead touchdown that put the visitors up 48-46 with 9:25 remaining.

Ellender's offense responded with the final touchdown of the game, getting a 6-yard run from Turner that put the Patriots ahead for good with 5:41 to go in the game.

Neither team attempted an extra point during the game. Ellender (three turnovers on fumbles) made 5-of-6 two-point conversion attempts, while H.L. Bourgeois (no turnovers) converted 4-of-8. Ellender outgained HLB, 318-305, in total yards during first half.


During halftime, former longtime H.L. Bourgeois and Ellender coach Cleve Joseph was honored for his 36-year career. Joseph retired at the end of the 2012-13 school year.