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Sloppy start dooms Terrebonne

Terrebonne quarterback Colby Stewart is tackled by two Hahnville defenders during Friday's game in Houma. (Photo by Benjamin Oliver Hicks/Staff)

Two unfortunate bounces of the ball on a very muddy and wet Tom B. Smith Stadium field put Terrebonne High in a bad position in the first half of Friday's District 7-5A game against Hahnville.

After a hard rain swamped the field before the game, Hahnville recovered two fumbles for touchdowns that led to an early lead and eventually a 22-7 victory over Terrebonne.

The first fumble came when a high snap went over the head of Terrebonne quarterback Colby Stewart. Players from both teams tried jumping on the ball to recover it on the muddy and slippery surface, but that only made the ball bounce over 40 yards behind the line of scrimmage until Hahnville's Eric Gilmore recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown. Craig Ford's extra point put Hahnville ahead 7-0 with 3:15 left in the opening quarter.

In the second quarter, Hahnville got another lucky bounce that led to its second score.

Hahnville quarterback Logan Martindale fumbled the snap on a muddy portion of field, and the ball laid on the ground for five seconds before running back Todge Scott picked it up and scrambled 30-yards for a touchdown to put Hahnville up 15-0 after a successful two-point conversion attempt.

The two early scores put Terrebonne (3-3 overall, 0-3 in district) in a hole it wouldn't recover from, especially in bad playing conditions.

"At that point, it was big," Terrebonne coach Gary Hill said. "Two plays like that and to get down 15-0 is tough to overcome. It was sloppy for both teams. I know it would've been a cleaner game had it not been sloppy, but it's just one of those things you've got to play through, and we made those two costly mistakes. It hurt us from getting in the win column, but our kids played as hard as they possibly could. I'm very proud of them."

Despite the bad field conditions, Terrebonne's offense managed to move the ball when Stewart lined up as a halfback in the second quarter, taking handoffs from backup quarterback Brett Bergeron. Stewart later moved the Tigers into Hahnville territory on a 19-yard pass to Quinn Malbrough, but the drive stalled on downs.

Two plays later, Hahnville's Lynn Simmons broke several tackles and sprinted 49-yards for a touchdown that made it 22-0 with 7:41 remaining in the second quarter.

Terrebonne's offense moved the ball in spurts throughout the second half, but couldn't punch it into the end zone until Stewart scored on a 1-yard run with 11:55 to go in the fourth quarter.

Hahnville (3-3, 2-1 in 7-5A) didn't score on its next drive, but it used its running back tandem of Simmons and Scott to grind out yards and take a majority of the time off the clock in the fourth quarter. Hahnville got all of its 231 total yards on the ground, with Simmons finishing with 21 carries for 115 yards and Scott added 14 carries on 111 yards.

Terrebonne got the ball back with under 3 minutes left, but it failed to put any more points on the board late.

Terrebonne played the majority of the game without leading rusher Justin Theriot. During the first quarter, Hill said Theriot was ejected from the game by the referees for throwing a punch at a Hahnville player while in a pile. Hill said he didn't see Theriot throw a punch, but he will watch the game film to see what happened.

"It was a costly thing for us not having him all night, and for us to come out and play as hard as we did after that, my hats off to our kids for giving everything they had (Friday) to try to win the ballgame," Hill said. "We made a couple of mistakes that cost us early. A couple of bad snaps. Hahnville did a good job. They made a few less mistakes than us, but I thought we played very well. I can't ask for any more from our kids. They are still working hard. We just have to find a way to finish the last four games of the season on a positive note."

With Theriot out, Stewart led the way for Terrebonne (313 total yards, 249 rushing, 64 passing). The senior quarterback had 28 carries for 203 yards and a touchdown, and he completed 4-of-11 passes for 64 yards and one interception.

Hahnville coach Lou Valdin said his team did a good job of executing its offensive and defensive game plans.

"That No. 16 (Stewart) is a heck of a football player, but I'm proud of our defense and I'm proud of our running game," Valdin said. "We were able to run the football under adverse conditions. Our offense controlled the clock, and we executed great. Our O-line did a tremendous job. I'm very proud of the kids. This team needed a win. Last week we got stomped, so I'm very proud of these kids."

Terrebonne, which celebrated Homecoming on Friday, put the ball on the ground five times and lost it once on offense and twice on special teams. Terrebonne was also penalized 10 times.