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Trojans hold off late Braves rally, 19-14


Central Lafourche's Chandler Richard (3) slips past the tackle of H.L. Bourgeois' Curtis Verdin during Friday's District 7-5A game in Mathews. Central Lafourche won, 19-14. (Photo by Benjamin Oliver Hicks/Staff)


MATHEWS — On a night when a familiar last name won the homecoming queen crown, the Central Lafourche Trojans ensured her reign started off properly.

As Hailey Hodson wore the homecoming crown Friday night, the Trojans took a 16-point lead in the fourth, but still had to fend off a late H.L. Bourgeois rally to preserve the 19-14 District 7-5A win.

It was a win that improved Central Lafourche's record to 3-1 overall and 1-0 to start district play.

Trojans coach Keith Menard was happy to open the district slate with a win, but still sees room for improvement.

"I thought we got real inconsistent offensively, we didn't finish drives and had too many turnovers," Menard said. "Overall, we played pretty well but we missed on some opportunities to make some plays.

"Defensively we played well all around," he continued. "(H.L. Bourgeois) got a couple big plays at the end of the game, but overall we were pleased with the effort."

Defense was indeed the theme for most of the game as both the Braves and Trojans used key defensive stops at key moments to change momentum.

The first instance happened on the game's opening possession. After receiving the kick, the Braves (0-4, 0-1) offense took the field, only to cough it up two plays later on a fumble that was recovered by the Central Lafourche defense.

The Trojans offense went right to work and got on the board first when quarterback Brader Dufrene (10-for-13, two touchdowns and an interception) connected from 15 yards away to find Josh Joseph in the far corner of the end zone to put Central Lafourche on top 7-0 with 8:14 to play in the first quarter.

After a 10-play Brave drive was halted by a vaunted Trojan defense, Central Lafourche used a 10-play drive of its own capped off by another score as Dufrene found Chandler Richard (four catches, 24 yards, one touchdown) on a third-and-goal from 2 yards out to notch his second passing touchdown. A failed conversion kept the Trojans lead at 13-0 with 10:40 to play in the second.

On the Braves ensuing possession, it looked like the Trojans defense would but the stamp on the game as Dereon Thomas picked off a Todd Adkins' pass and rambled 11 yards to the Braves' 16, but Damaris Holmes picked off Dufrene in the endzone to stall a potential scoring drive.

Neither team mustered much offense the rest of the way and the Trojans held the 13-point lead at the half. Both teams went scoreless in the third quarter.

"The first two scores are on me," Braves coach Daron Franklin said. "I didn't make the right adjustments and it costs us early. As the game went on I think our kids got better. Experience comes into play. We still have some guys learning different things but they are getting better."

The Trojans added a 34-yard field goal by Dufrene to start the fourth quarter to increase their lead to 16-0 with 11:55 to play in the final stanza, before the Braves made things interesting.

H.L. Bourgeois finally added its first points on the scoreboard as a 58-yard pass from Todd Adkins (11-for-23, 203 yards, two touchdowns and an interception; 68 yards rushing) to Ritney Coleman (three catches, 91 yards, one touchdown).

Following a successful two-point pass, the Braves cut the Trojans lead to 16-8 with 9:47 to play.

Dufrene added a 23-yard field goal with 3 minutes left to play to make it 19-8 Central Lafourche.

However, the Braves refused to go down quietly as a 53-yard strike from Adkins to Tylone Johnson (four catches, 92 yards, one touchdown) made it 19-14 with 2:21 to play following a failed conversion attempt.

The Trojans recovered the onside kick and ultimately ran out the clock following a Thomas Wesley (20 carries, 103 yards) first down.

"Hats off the (H. L. Bourgeois), they have some athletes and made it a game," Menard said. "I was pleased with how my guys held their composure towards the end."

The Braves outgained the Trojans, 330-271, in total yards.