Teams in this post:

Thibodaux runs past South Lafourche, 52-28


Thibodaux's Jason Richard (1) runs past South Lafourche's Benny Serigny (22) during Thursday's game in Galliano. (Photo by Abby Tabor/Staff)


GALLIANO — Thibodaux High's quick strike offense turned Thursday's District 7-5A game into a Halloween nightmare for South Lafourche.

With the eyes of the state watching live on Fox Sports New Orleans television network, Thibodaux scored 38 first-half points and got three touchdowns from senior Jason Richard in its 52-28 victory over South Lafourche on Ralph Pere Field at Tarpons Memorial Stadium.

Richard, a receiver, did most of his work on the ground for the Tigers, rushing for 118 yards on seven carries. He also caught four passes for 52 yards.

With Thibodaux (5-4 overall, 3-3 in district) needing a win to keep its playoff hopes alive, Richard said they were motivated for Thursday's showdown.

"I was fired up. I did it all for those guys," Richard said as he pointed to his teammates celebrating in the end zone. "We haven't made it to the playoffs (since 2009). I did it all for the team. We practiced hard all week. We came together as a family. We're going to the playoffs. We're coming. Thibodaux is back."

Thibodaux, which finished with 389 yards (279 rushing, 110 passing), also got big plays from junior quarterback Peyton Bonvillain (10-of-12, 110 yards, three touchdowns), senior runner/quarterback Donta Johnson (13 carries, 116 yards, TD) and senior tight end DeVaughn Brown (three catches, 21 yards, two TDs).

Defensively, the Tigers gave up 328 yards (206 rushing, 122 passing) to South Lafourche, but they forced four turnovers (fumble recovery and three interceptions).

Thibodaux coach Chris Dugas said the Tigers faced adversity all week with injuries to guys like defensive end/kicker Victor Bimah and offensive lineman Josh Matherne. But with a playoff berth on the line and the eyes of TV viewers around the state watching, Dugas challenged his team to play as a unit in one of its biggest games of the season.

"I told these guys that this was a state wide television game," Dugas said. "I said if you want to send a message to the rest of the state of Louisiana that Thibodaux High has got some good football going on, this is the time to do it. I think we might have did that a little bit."

For the Tarpons (5-4, 4-2 in district), the loss capped a week full of being in news-making headlines. South Lafourche received a forfeit win on Wednesday when the Louisiana High School Athletic Association penalized Destrehan for illegally viewing South Lafourche practice film on a website named Hudl prior to a Oct. 25 game.

Despite all the distractions the team and school faced this week, South Lafourche coach Dennis Skains said it had nothing to do with the Tarpons poor play against Thibodaux.

"They whipped our butt," Skains said. "I'm not taking anything away from them. I didn't do a very good job of getting them ready to play. If we play like this (against Hahnville on Nov. 8), we'll be at home for the playoffs. I've got to do a better job, so back to the drawing board."

Thibodaux started its first half onslaught with a 10-play opening possession. Richard took an end-around sweep 10-yards for a touchdown. The Tigers missed the two-point attempt, but held a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter.

After its defense got a three-and-out, Thibodaux's Andy Brown blocked a punt to set the Tigers up at the Tarpons' 31. It took Thibodaux just three plays for Johnson to run in for a 5-yard touchdown. Once again, the Tigers missed the two-point attempt, leaving it at 12-0 with 5:18 remaining in the first quarter.

South Lafourche used its passing game to get things going on its next drive. Following passes of 25, 14 and 3 yards, quarterback Dominick Fillinich (9-of-20, 122 yards passing; 79 yards rushing) tossed a short pass to Jake Williams (81 yards on 16 carries; two catches for 55 yards), who took it 30 yards untouched into the end zone to cut the deficit to 12-7 with 58 seconds remaining in the first.

The Tarpons' momentum didn't last long as Thibodaux's Amik Robertson bobbled the ensuing kickoff, picked it up and returned it 90 yards for a touchdown. After missing the two-point, Thibodaux led 18-7 with 38 seconds left in the first.

South Lafourche continued to move the ball on the next drive, but it faced a fourth-and-2 from the Tigers' 35-yard line. However, Cullen Matherne gained 24 yards on a fourth-down attempt run up the middle, and he later scored from 7-yards out to cut the lead to 18-14.

Thibodaux's offense answered back when Bonvillain, who had a TD run called back on a holding penalty, stepped up in the pocket and completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Johnson on the next play to extend the lead to 24-14 with 6:15 left in second (two-point failed).

After Thibodaux's Jude Theriot recovered a South Lafourche fumble on a handoff, Richard scored his second touchdown run on a 4-yard scamper to make it 32-14 with 4:29.

Thibodaux added one more first half touchdown when Bonvillain connected with Brown on a 9-yard pass to put the score at 38-14 at halftime. Thibodaux outgained South Lafourche, 229-175, in first half.

With rainy weather moving into the area in the second half, Dugas said the Tigers had to strike early and often.

"When you come to South Lafourche, and you play against a team that you know is going to play physical football, you've got to jump on them early," Dugas said. "If you let these guys get up on you, they are like sharks and they just smell blood. They drive it down your throats. We beat a pretty doggone good football team here (Thursday). I'm very proud of our kids."

On its first drive of the second half, the Tigers used a little trickery. Facing fourth-and-long from their own 18, the Tigers called for a fake punt, using Johnson lined up as the punter. Johnson took the snap and sprinted 21 yards for the first down. A play later, Richard broke loose on a 61-yard touchdown run that made it 44-14 Thibodaux with 7:46 left in the third quarter.

Fillinich tried his best to keep the Tarpons in it with a 45-yard scoring run with 7:03 left in third that cut it to 44-20 (two-point failed), but the Tigers answered back on their next possession when Brown caught a 3-yard fourth-down touchdown pass from Bonvillain. Jaquan Chenier added the two-point conversion on a short run to push the advantage to 52-20.

The Tarpons scored the only touchdown of the fourth quarter on a 7-yard run from Harvey Allen with 7:20 left, but they turned the ball over twice in the final minutes when Thibodaux defenders Iryan Baptiste and Corey Bailey each grabbed interceptions. Chris Bryant also had an interception.

Thibodaux's 52 points is the most the Tarpons have allowed all season, and Skains took the blame for not having his kids prepared.

"It was a poorly schemed game on my end," he said. "Because of that, we got our butt whipped in all three phases. Hats off to Thibodaux. They did an excellent job. They have a ton of weapons, and they came to play and we didn't."