DONALDSONVILLE — E.D. White was clinging to a one-point lead late its District 9-3A opener with Donaldsonville on Friday at Floyd Boutte Stadium. Somebody needed to tip the balance.
It looked like it might be someone from host DHS. The Tigers had the ball and were looking for a go-ahead touchdown. Instead, EDW’s Marcus Kliebert intercepted DHS quarterback Tyler Brown with 2:10 remaining. From there, the Cardinals ran out the clock to secure a 25-24 win.
Before Kliebert’s game-clinching interception, E.D. White (4-2, 1-0) took the lead on Darius Charles’ 5-yard touchdown run. Winston Jones made the extra point kick to give the Cardinals the one-point lead.
E.D. White coach Chris Bergeron said the Cardinals’ game plan was to control the clock and keep Donaldsonville’s offense the field, while stopping all four two-point conversion tries.
“Our ability to keep the chains moving and the clock running on offense and to keep them from being successful on the two-point conversions was really the difference in the game,” Bergeron said.
Donaldsonville (3-3, 0-1) took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on Tajh Gillard’s 5-yard TD run. Gillard led the Tigers with 18 carries for 110 yards.
The Cardinals answered on the first play of the second quarter when Charles (18 carries, 75 yards, two TDs) scored on a 1-yard run, and Jones’ extra point made it 7-6.
Donaldsonville retook the lead with 29 seconds remaining in the first half on Brown’s 29-yard pass to Jaquel Gant and led 12-6.
DHS’ Brown completed 16 of 28 passes for 244 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Gant had eight catches for 78 yards and a score.
E.D. White answered Donaldsonville’s score with the help of a short kickoff and big offensive plays from Benjamin Sposito — a 22-yard pass to Charles and a 12-yard quarterback draw. Jones drilled a 22-yard field goal to cut the Tigers’ lead to 12-9.
“Our last series before the end of the first half turned out to be big,” Bergeron said. “We were content to go into the half like we were and start the second half on offense. But Benjamin’s run ended up putting us in a great position to close out the half with that kick.”
Donaldsonville extended its lead to 18-10 when Brown hooked up with Stephen Sullivan on a 22-yard touchdown strike.
But the Cardinals answered on Jeremy Rounds’ 14-yard TD run on a reverse. Hunter Tabor ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 18 with 27 seconds to go in the third. Rounds finished with 10 carries for 77 yards and a score.
But the Tigers regained the lead when Brown hooked up with Jamal Dunn (three catches for 107 yards, TD) on an 87-yard touchdown pass, but they missed their fourth-straight two-point conversion to make the score 24-18 with 11:49 left to play.
E.D. White eventually took the lead on Charles’ second touchdown and sealed the win on Kliebert’s interception.
“There was no reason for us to perform like this with the caliber of athletes that we have, and I take full responsibility for that,” Donaldsonville coach Benny Guilbeaux said. “We had a great week of practice, good playing conditions and the officiating was solid, but we just played without any urgency and we played lethargic. A couple of penalties really hurt us. But credit E.D. White for having a great game plan and sticking to it.”