The Gators fumbled on the third play of the opening drive and Morgan City’s Erik Walker scored on a three yard run seven plays later for a 7-0 Morgan City lead.
“I was impressed with Morgan City,” South Terrebonne (6-2, 2-1) coach Richard Curlin said. “That first quarter I thought they came out strong. They threw the ball around well and ran their offense well. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t go down the field on our first drive. I thought overall we played well, but defensively we made some mental mistakes.”
South Terrebonne’s Jacquis Flores tied the game up immediately on a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Walker had a shot at a tackle just after Flores caught the kick, but he over pursued and Flores’ speed resulted in a demoralizing touchdown.
“The turning point was when we get the early turnover and punch it in then the very next kickoff they take it right back and even up the deal,” MCHS (5-3, 1-1) coach Brandon Nowlin said. “Then we get a fourth down and don’t convert. Fourth and short and don’t convert. We’re cutting guys loose on the offensive line, we didn’t play very well at all up front on the line and our quarterback paid the price.”
Morgan City went three-and-out on the ensuing drive and the Gators scored 21 unanswered points. The first two Gators’ scores of the second half came on the opening play of each drive. First it was a Flores run of 47 yards and the second was a 54 yard run by Leo Rodriguez for a commanding 35-14 lead midway through the third quarter.
Morgan City scored on its second possession of the third quarter on a five-play drive of 66 yards. Quarterback Hoang Nguyen found Demarcus Coleman on a fourth-and-one play over the top of the defense for 24 yards and the junior quarterback ran the ball 32 yards on a draw for a touchdown to give the Tigers some hope, but it would be the last points scored for MCHS.
The Tigers longest drive of the second half was 78 yards on 12 plays that ended on a fourth-and-16 play that saw Nguyen throw an interception under heavy pressure.
“We gave them a lot of opportunities that they probably shouldn’t have had by not being able to convert on certain downs and distances,” Nowlin said. “If you fail to convert when you get into the red zone, you don’t deserve to win the ball game and we didn’t deserve to win tonight.”
Nguyen left the game in the fourth quarter after taking several hard hits. Brodie Anslum came on in his place and also took several tough hits.
“Not real sure (about the injury),” Nowlin said. “He’s being evaluated by the trainer. We’ll find out when we get back. I think he might have a (concussion), but I’m not sure. … He played his heart out tonight and took a few shots. He’s a very, very tough young man. I probably shouldn’t have called the last quarterback run with him late in the ballgame. I’ll be kicking myself for that for a long time. At the same time, he scored on it on the drive before. ”
The loss drops Morgan City’s district record to 5-3 and 1-1 in district with a tough home game against Vandebilt Catholic (3-5, 0-2) next week.