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Terriers top Gators after second-half deluge


Vandebilt Catholic tight end Chase Hawthorne (left) hauls in a pass in front of South Terrebonne defensive back Devin Harding (right) on Friday night at South Terrebonne Memorial Stadium in Bourg. (Photo by Jim Cenac/Correspondent)


BOURG — Dry towels were at a premium in the South Terrebonne postgame locker room.

The Vandebilt Catholic players stood in ankle-deep water on their sideline during the fourth quarter and some splashed around like kids in the puddles after the game.

Any fan without an umbrella or slicker suit was left scrambling for cover, and even some who were prepared for the rain better than their neighbors joined them.

A second-half deluge hit as the Terriers and Gators met on Friday night in the District 7-4A opener for both teams, and in the end, two first-quarter scores stood up for Vandebilt as it left a rain-soaked South Terrebonne Memorial Stadium with a 10-0 victory over the Gators.

And while the Terriers (4-2, 1-0 in district) weathered Friday night's downpour, another storm of sorts hit Vandebilt earlier in the week when it was learned starting quarterback Bailey Pere, a junior, was lost for the season with a torn ACL suffered during last week's loss to Brother Martin.

Enter sophomore quarterback David Yancey, who in his first varsity start led the Terriers to those precious 10 first-quarter points (5-yard TD run by Jordan Bergeron, Patrick Watson extra point, 43-yard field goal by Watson).

And though he finished with minus 9 rushing yards and was just 4-of-9 passing for 26 yards with an interception, Terriers coach Brad Villavaso said he handled the offense well. That was highlighted by the 11-play, 49-yard drive early that ended with Bergeron's touchdown run.

"Yancey was always standing right behind the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach every day soaking it all in every minute, every day. He is in there learning, and does everything you ask a back-up guy to do in preparation for his chance, and he got his chance," Villavaso said. "I thought he did a heck of a job. I congratulated him after the game."

The Gators (2-4, 0-1 in district) struggled moving the ball on offense even before the rain. They got a drive together on offense at the end of the second quarter that ended in a 46-yard missed field goal, but any offensive momentum gained from that was lost with the second-half downpour.

"In a game like that, it's important to get on the board early," South Terrebonne coach Richard Curlin said. "They (the Terriers) made it awful tough on us after that. I thought their defense did a heck of job taking pretty much everything away from us. We had to throw the ball, and when the weather came, that was hard to do."

Another key to the game was Vandebilt punter Patrick Watson, who during the inclement weather in the second half had punts of 47, 42, 45 and 49 yards, which allowed the Terriers to flip the field position and make the Gators piece together long drives for points, which they never could.

"One of the coaches in the press box said that their punter was killing us," Curlin said. "That is tough to do in conditions like that. He did a great job."

The Terriers (117 yards, 91 rushing, seven first downs) also recovered four Gators fumbles and added an interception of Gators quarterback Matt Benoit, who was 4-of-16 for 58 yards.

"The rain was a factor because they got behind and needed to throw the ball. It's hard to throw the ball in this kind of stuff, but I thought our defense did a great job battling and reading their keys," Villavaso said. "It was a great team effort. I challenged our seniors, and they responded. I'm proud of them."

The rain stopped just long enough late in the game for the Gators (130 yards, 72 rushing, 10 first downs) to stop the Terriers, who got 59 yards rushing from Justen Harris and 39 rushing yards from Thomas St. Martin, short of the end zone on four downs on a first-and-goal from their 2-yard line.

South Terrebonne, which got 61 yards from Cristian Wallis, drove to the Vandebilt 9, but Vandebilt's Dylan Ward finally picked up a loose ball that was bouncing around and returned it to near midfield before the game ended on the Terriers next offensive play.

Even before the rain started, the scoreboard was not working and was not used during the game.