Penalties, kicking game doomed St. Martinville
FOOT RACE – A Bobcat defender tries to cut off St. Martinville wide receiver Deantre James last Friday. James scored one of SM’s two touchdowns on a 16-yard run and also caught five passes for 53 yards but the Tigers came up short in a 20-16 loss.(Kalyb Boudreaux)
Eunice – Costly penalties and critical errors in the kicking game led to St. Martinville’s first loss of the season last Friday with the Eunice Bobcats coming from behind late in the game for a 20-16 victory.
The Tigers were flagged 11 times for 111 yards. A 55-yard punt return for a touchdown by Devante Kately was nullified by a hold and three back-to-back infractions early in the final period led to a Eunice touchdown.
And the Tigers attempted four punts with one being blocked and a bad snap and another that sailed over the kicker’s head resulting in a 32-yard loss.
The Tigers were sluggish in the first half, managing only 21 snaps for 108 yards while Eunice rolled up 185 yards on 30 plays.
The Bobcats got on the board first, driving 75 yards in 13 plays on their second possession. QB Jaden Brasseaux tossed an 8-yard TD pass to Jordan Ledet early in the second quarter but the PAT kick failed.
The Tigers answered quickly after Dylan Doucet returned the ensuing kickoff to the SM 44. Eight plays later sophomore Travien Benjamin bulled over from the one for the TD. But the PAT failed on a high snap and the score remained knotted at 6-all by intermission.
The ’Ville got the ball first in the second half but couldn’t move and the punt attempt was blocked, setting the Bobcats up at the SM nine. The Tiger defense stiffened and Eunice’s 36-yard field goal attempt fell short.
The Tigers put together a nice drive late in the third period, moving to the Bobcat 27. But a Jared Davis pass was picked off and returned all the way to the SM 10. Then three penalties moved Eunice to the one and Trevin Ceasar waltzed in for the score to put Eunice up 13-6 early in the final stanza.
St. Martinville was quick to respond, going 67 yards in just five plays for a TD. Deantre James covered the final 16 and Dylan Wilmore drilled the PAT to knot the score.
The Tigers got a big break when Eunice fumbled the kick return at its own 26. But a holding penalty backed SM to the 34, forcing The ’Ville to settle for a booming 45-yard field goal by Wilmore that gave the Tigers their first lead at 16-12 with 7:16 to play.
But a tiring Tiger defense couldn’t preserve the lead as Eunice drove 63 yards, aided by a personal foul penalty against SM, to score on a 4-yard run by Ceasar with 2:44 remaining. The PAT kick gave Eunice a 20-16 edge.
St. Martinville tried to answer but Davis had his first down pass nearly intercepted and was sacked for a loss on second down. A desperate 4th down pass to James covered 12 yards but was two short of the first down marker. Eunice got the ball back at the 1:27 mark and was able to run out the clock.
Operating under pressure for most of the game, Davis still managed to complete 10-of-14 tosses for 109 yards. James rushed for 30 yards and a TD and had five catches for 53 yards.
Benjamin led the Tiger running game with 48 yards and a TD on 11 totes.