At the time the Tigers still had an outside shot at the playoffs, but when the brackets came out Sunday, the end of the MCHS football season was confirmed.
Morgan City endured a tough first quarter for the second straight week.
The Tigers opening drive ended with a punt by Austin Stroud being blocked and recovered on the Morgan City 18. The Mustangs were able to score six plays later on a run by Chris Skidmore.
“You’ve got to consider the blocked punt is similar to (a turnover),” Nowlin said. “It has the same effect, especially early in the ballgame. We’re still having a hard time on fourth down and short, once or twice, but we played a very, very good football team tonight. They’re going to have a lot of success in the playoffs. We had a couple of guys injured, but at the end of a 10 game football season — that’s what you expect. … The better team won tonight, no doubt about it.”
The Tigers looked better on the second drive of the game with a first down on a pass from Brodie Anslum to Tyrin Watts to get MCHS to midfield.
On third-and-eight from the Assumption 48, Anslum dropped back and fired down field but was intercepted by Matthew Theriot who returned the ball 68 yards for a touchdown.
The Tigers stalled again at midfield on the third drive of the game and the Mustangs ended the first quarter with a three-play drive of 54 yards for a 21-0 lead.
Assumption quarterback Hunter Gauthreaux was 15-for-22 for 249 yards and three touchdowns.
Morgan City was unable to drive past the Assumption 35 in the first half while the Mustangs built a 35-0 lead by halftime.
“(Gauthreaux) is a heck of a quarterback, he’s shown me a lot on film,” Nowlin said. “I told him after the game, ‘I enjoy watching you play.’ They have a very good football team over there, they’re going to have a lot of success.”
The Tigers held Assumption scoreless in the third quarter and avoided the shutout in the fourth quarter. Austin Stroud got a chance to show off his game-changing speed one last time on an end-around for a 58-yard touchdown. Senior Adeyemi Wheeler got in on the second half scoring on the last play of the game from a yard out to finish up his senior season.
“I was proud of the way we came back and competed in the second half,” Nowlin said. “The last two week, three weeks really, we haven’t played well in the first half and that has cost us. I’m very proud of our seniors and glad we were able to compete towards the end of the season.”
Following the game, Nowlin went out of his way to speak with each senior. The group has been through more adversity than most after Nowlin took over the program on the morning of the jamboree in 2010.
The Tigers are in a much better place now than they were when he started.
“You can’t say enough about these guys — we’ve grown up a lot as a group,” Nowlin said. “This coaching staff and these seniors over the last two seasons, have had a lot of adversity to overcome. I told them after the game, ‘You guys mean the world to me. The things we’re gone through these last two years and how we’ve overcome adversity will make you a better person as you go forward in your life.’”
Assumption is the No. 5 seed in the Class 4A bracket and will face No. 28 St. Martinville on Friday.