The St. Amant Gators left too many opportunities on the field and gave up too many big plays as the Hahnville Tigers came roaring back in the second half to overpower the Gators 55-33.

The Gators took the opening kickoff and was forced to punt. Hahnville took over at its own 47 and the Tigers hit on a 53-yard pass from quarterback Mike Neal to receiver Devonte Cravin for the first of four big plays on the night for a 7-0 lead. On the Gators’ next possession, they took over on the 50-yard line and drove to Hahnville’s 13-yard line. Hayden Mallory was picked off on the 2-yard line for one of the missed opportunities of the night.

The defense held, making the Tiger punter rush, which resulted in a short punt and the Gators took over on the Hahnville 38. The offense moved the ball in the red zone to the 17 and settled for a field goal for a 7-3 score. The Tigers returned the kickoff to the Gator 10, but the defense held and got the ball back on downs.

The Gators took over on their 20 and took the ball on an 80-yard drive that resulted in a 3-yard touchdown pass and a 10-7 lead. Nose tackle Anthony Wilson intercepted a screen pass at the Hahnville 12, returned it to the 5-yard line. St. Amant led 17-7 after Mark Darby’s 1-yard scoring run with 9:27 left in the second quarter.

The Tigers followed with an 80-yard drive of their own and pulled the score to 17-14. St. Amant answered with a 78-yard touchdown drive that ended with an 8-yard TD pass from Hayden Mallory to Briggs Bourgeois for a 24-14 lead. An errant option pitch by Hahnville created a fumble, and St. Amant recovered the ball at the Tiger 18.

The Gators couldn’t move the ball and settled for a Bourgeois field goal from 35 yards with 55 seconds left in the half that upped the lead to 27-14. Hahnville took possession at their 27-yard line and drove the distance with less than a minute on the clock that culminated with a wild 25-yard TD reception as time ran out. The score was 27-21 at the half.

The Tigers blistered the Gators as they outscored St. Amant 34-6 in the second half. St. Amant gave up two more big plays and couldn’t quite get the offense clicking and only managed two field goals, one in the third quarter and one in the fourth quarter. Mallory passed for 286 yards, but it wasn’t quite enough. Bourgeois kicked field goals of 33, 35, 42 and 38 yards without a miss.

The Gators finish the season 9-3 and made it to the second round of the playoffs for the first time — a great season to be sure.

The Zachary Broncos’ quarterback Lindsey Scott turned out to be a little more than the Griffin defense could stop as they lost their second round playoff game 35-14 at Griffin Field on Friday night. Scott rushed for 176 yards and scored four of the five Bronco touchdowns.

The Zachary defense did its job well as they held the Griffins scoreless in the first half as they managed only 29 yards of total offense. The Broncos offense moved the ball steadily on the ground and the half ended with Zachary leading 21-0.

The Griffins did manage to get some spark out of the offense in the second half as their senior quarterback Jared Sparks hit his favorite receiver, Aver’ee York, for two TDs. This very familiar combo hooked up on a pair of second-half touchdown passes of 41 and 63 yards. It was just too little, too late for Dutchtown to make a comeback as they only managed 34 rushing yards and 230 total yards.

It was a great season for the Griffins as well. Dutchtown finished 8-4 on the season, were co-champions of district 5-5A and made it to the second round of the playoffs. Congrats to Dutchtown and St. Amant. They did their fans well.

Three parish teams compete in LHSAA State Cross Country meet

The Louisiana High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships were held at Northwestern State’s Walter P. Ledet Track Complex in Natchitoches.

In Class 5A girls, Dutchtown finished in ninth place, East Ascension finished in 17th and St. Amant finished in 26th place.

Dutchtown led the boys in our parish teams as they finished in 10th place. St. Amant was in 36th place and East Ascension finished in 37th place.

Volleyball All-Star game goes down to the wire

The competition was hot at the annual Louisiana High School Coaches Association East-West All-Star match. Both teams played their hearts out and didn’t leave anything on the court. That hustle and high competition forced the game to go five sets, but the East team came away with the 25-20, 25-11, 21-25, 23-25, 15-9 victory on Saturday at Newman High School.

The St. Amant Gators were represented by Kourtney Gremillion; and the West’s roster featured Kaitlyn Gertz (Sulphur), Ali Mitchell (Episcopal), Anne Faulk (Notre Dame), Morgan Vincent (St. Thomas More), Chaney Siebarth (Barbe), Mary Franques (Ascension Episcopal), Grace Morgan (Notre Dame), Bethany Bergeron (Westlake), Tayra Kanou (Rayne), Jariel Tureaud (Lutcher), Sarah Pierre (Episcopal Acadiana), Madelyn Aucoin (St. Thomas More) and Destiny Ephrome (University High).

The East squad looked like they might run away with things as they went up 2-0 in the match. But the West squad dug down deep, turned things around and fought their way back into the match. The West took the third set in a hard-fought match, winning 25-21. They fought an even tougher match in game 4 overcoming a comeback attempt by the East squad for a 25-23 win and force a fifth set.

But the East got back on track in the fifth set and polished the West off with a 15-9 victory. Grace Morgan was the leader for the West squad with 14 kills.

Short trip down the bayou produces a bounty

Late fall and early winter is really prime time for taking part in the outdoors. The speckled trout are coming in to the marsh, hunting season is in full swing and life is just good in south Louisiana.

But this time of the year is a favorite for heading down to Delacroix for some bank fishing. The ride is not bad, although it’s about an hour and a half to travel. But it’s an overall easy trip. You don’t have to worry about carrying a boat with you, and it’s just a relaxing time.

Last weekend, I was joined by my brother, Alan, on a trip down to St. Bernard Parish, with our final destination as the small community of Reggio. We had two quests in our plan. One was some early morning bass fishing, and the other was catching enough crabs for a boil when we returned home.

The bass-catching was somewhat successful. as we landed four of those fat, chunky bass. Two of the fish came on a spinner bait and the other two were caught on plastic worms. After an hour or so, we swapped the bass rods out for three others with chicken necks for bait.

Just like usual, the crabs cooperated, and we filled half an ice chest with 51 big, beautiful crabs. We packed the truck up and headed back to Ascension with a few fish, a respectable load of crabs and the memory of a relaxing time spent with a brother. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Lyle Johnson covers sports for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net or ascension@theadvocate.com.