The field goal traveled 34 yards, sailing through the uprights at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as time expired Friday night.
The kick landed right in the gut of Rummel on a night that was supposed to be a coronation.
It was just three minutes before midnight, giving Cinderella just enough time before her curfew to party a little in the Dome before dancing all the way back to Baton Rouge.
Final score: Catholic High 31, Rummel 28.
The folks dressed in orange will remember Parker Fontenot’s game-winning kick for years to come.
The Rummel faithful, especially the 30 seniors who were looking to put the exclamation mark on an incredible four-year run, will try to forget it.
That won’t be easy.
“It was a disappointing ending to a wonderful season,” Raiders coach Jay Roth said.
Rummel was seeking its third state championship in four years.
Instead it was the Bears, reaching the title game for the first time in 25 years, who claimed their first state championship trophy.
It was the right leg of the 5-foot-9, 170-pound Fontenot which was the slingshot that delivered the final blow to Goliath on this night. He said he knew it was good as soon as it left his foot.
“I just lined it up and kicked it like I do every day,” he said.
Fontenot looked just as calm in postgame interviews as he did when he lined up for the kick that someday he’ll boast to his kids about.
“Honestly, I’m in shock,” he said.
But the real shock was on the face of Roth and the Rummel players who joined him in the interview room afterward. There were few words.
“We played bad; we just didn’t play well at all,” defensive lineman Briston Guidry said.
“We didn’t play good enough to win,” quarterback Chase Fourcade said.
“We didn’t tackle,” cornerback Kristian Fulton said.
Guidry, Fourcade and Fulton are seniors, key parts of a group of 30 guys who helped make Rummel a juggernaut in their four years. They won state titles as freshmen and sophomores.
The Raiders were 46-6 in the past four years. This season, they took their show on the road, beating one of the premier programs in Mississippi and then standing toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in New Jersey.
They won a second straight district title.
Getting past the Catholic League was supposed to be the hard part. Instead, getting past Catholic High was the problem.
Catholic, the No. 6 seed, posted three breathtaking playoff wins against the top three seeds (No. 3 Brother Martin, No. 2 Evangel Christian and No. 1 Rummel) to win it all.
The Bears pulled off the trifecta in most improbable fashion, doing what sounds almost impossible when you look back at the past three weeks.
What team could stop Brother Martin superstar running back Bruce-Jordan Swilling on a do-or-die two-point conversion one week, then rally from a 21-0 hole at Evangel and finally bounce back and topple mighty Rummel?
Not bad for a team that started the season 0-2.
“Even in the depth of a 0-2 start, they didn’t flinch,” Catholic coach Dale Weiner said. “They were just determined that we were going to right this ship. They believed in each other.”
At times, they made it look easy.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who looked like the second coming of former Catholic back Derrius Guice, darted and dashed through the Rummel defense for 97 yards on the ground. He also had 161 receiving yards.
Quarterback Ian Brian torched the Raiders defense, completing 25 of 34 passes for 340 yards and three touchdowns.
The Raiders didn’t help their case, doing some “un-Rummel”-like self-inflicted damage of their own. Rummel committed three turnovers, including a fumble on a snap with 1:46 left that helped set up the game-winning field goal.
“It was my fault,” Fourcade said about the play.
But this loss wasn’t.
Just four minutes earlier, Fourcade had tossed his third touchdown of the night, somehow escaping a sack and connecting with David Hensley, who spun past a would-be tackler for a touchdown that tied it at 28.
The scoreboard said it was tied, but it sure didn’t feel like it to Roth. His team was outgained 468-291.
Simply put, it wasn’t Rummel’s night.
“I don’t know if it was our preparation or what,” Roth said. “I was shocked that it was even 28-28. It shouldn’t have even been that close. It shouldn’t have been a game. We had a chance to win it at the end. Whether we deserved to or not, it didn’t matter. Just that we had a chance to win it is amazing.”
And Roth liked his team’s chances, especially when it took over at its own 40 with 4:08 left.
“I thought we could steal this game,” he said. “We’re going to steal this championship.”
But opportunity knocked, and Catholic pounced on it when junior defensive end Aaron Moffitt recovered the fumble that led to the game-winner.
“Rummel has a great offense, but our defense dug in,” Weiner said. “They got us the ball, getting turnovers and forcing punts against a juggernaut of a team.”
Fontenot lined up for the knockout punch eight plays later.
He delivered, setting off a celebration on one side of the Dome while breaking hearts on the other.
The hurt was evident in the voices of Roth and his players afterward.
“They wanted this bad tonight,” Roth said about his seniors. “They had a great year and a great career. I just wish it didn’t end this way.”