Landry-Walker’s Keytoan Thompson got another chance — and he made the most of it —throwing a 36-yard touchdown pass to Devonta Jason with 55.6 seconds left Friday night against West Jefferson.
That keyed the Charging Buccaneers’ 41-35 victory at Behrman Stadium, giving them a share of the District 8-5A championship with Chalmette and Ehret.
“We just had to keep playing and pull it out,” Thompson said. “Devonta committed to LSU; he’s our big-play guy. I was going to him all the way.”
Landry-Walker’s Darick Dixon sacked West Jefferson quarterback Coley Ransaw for a safety with 38.9 seconds for the final points.
The decisive touchdown came one play after West Jefferson center Kanny Mytil snapped the ball on third-and-9, with Ransaw clearly not expecting it. He fumbled and the ball was recovered by Landry-Walker at West Jefferson 36 with 1:02 left.
That set up Thompson’s game-winning strike to Jason.
“The count was on one, and Coley, I think, was checking out of the play,” running back David Carter said.
It marked the second consecutive year Landry-Walker finished in a three-way tie for a district title. Last season, in 9-4A, it tied with Karr and Warren Easton.
West Jeff (5-5, 4-3) was in position to keep its playoff hopes alive with a win after defensive back Jamal Houston intercepted a pass by Thompson, giving it the ball at the 24 with 3:27 left in the game.
“It’s very disappointing,” West Jeff first-year coach Cyril Crutchfield said. “We were a few plays from getting a big win.”
Thompson got going after an earlier West Jeff interception, one returned 12 yards for a touchdown by Dejon Thompson at 6:46 of the third quarter, pushing West Jeff’s lead to 28-19.
However, Thompson led a 53-yard drive and scored on a 13-yard run. A two-point conversion run by Malik Arnold cut the margin to 28-27. Thompson later scored on a 6-yard run at 8:46 of the fourth to give L-W the lead 33-28.
However, Ranson led a 55-yard drive after the ensuing kickoff, scoring on a 1-yard run to give West Jeff the lead again.
In a back-and-forth first half, West Jefferson emerged with a 21-19 first-half lead, as Carter gained 75 yards and scored two touchdowns. The Buccaneers rushed for 140 yards, the key to their having the lead.
Another key was the play of defensive back Josiah Johnson, who intercepted a pass and turned back a last-minute attempt by Landry-Walker to snatch the lead.
Thompson completed a 35-yard yard pass to Jason to the West Jeff 15 with 1:01 left before halftime. However, as Jason was being tackled, Johnson ripped the ball from his grasp and returned the ball to the 22. West Jefferson was content to run out the clock and go into the locker room with the two-point lead.
The game started ominously, as Landry-Walker got the ball at its 35 after the opening kickoff but proceeded to get five consecutive false-start penalties.
That resulted in West Jeff getting the ball at the Landry-Walker 38 after a punt. Five plays later, Carter scored from the 1.
However, Landry-Walker stormed back behind its big-play potential, as Tevin Bush returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown.
Then, a West Jeff best-laid plan backfired. On fourth-and-7 from their 17, the Bucs faked a punt, but Ransaw’s pass fell incomplete. Three plays later, Thompson, flushed out of the pocket, rolled right and threw across his body to Malik Arnold alone in the end zone for a 13-7 lead.
Carter scored his second touchdown at 6:39 of the second quarter to put West Jeff ahead by a point. The 6-yard run capped a 79-yard, nine-play drive.
Thompson’s 36-yard pass to Kaleb Anderson at 5:18 gave Landry-Walker a 19-14 lead. However, West Jeff answered with an eight-play, 65-yard march. Quarterback Coley Ransaw faked a handoff to Carter going right and ran 12 yards around left end for the touchdown with 1:22 left before halftime.