LABARRE — Curtlan Williams’ 6-yard touchdown run with 3:08 remaining pushed No. 9 seed Southern Lab to a 28-21 victory at No. 8 seed Pointe Coupee Central in a Class 1A regional playoff game.
Williams scored twice, and Deonte Shorts threw two TD passes to Marquise Ricard as the Kittens (10-2) held off the upstart Cougars (8-3). De’Monte Lang led Lab with 72 rushing yards.
“I told the guys at halftime, ‘You have 24 minutes ’til the rest of the season,’” Southern Lab coach Nick Mitchell said. “’Either you get it done or we go home and pack it up.’ And they responded to it.”
PCC quarterback Kevin Bourgeois passed for 271 yards, but the Cougars were dogged by 12 penalties worth 105 yards.
“The last three minutes, (Southern Lab) made a couple of good plays, and we didn’t,” PCC coach Lawrence Brown said. “That made a big difference.”
Pointe Coupee Central tied the game with 8:55 to go, thanks to some trickery. Antonio Johnson took a pitchout and threw a halfback pass back to Bourgeois, who fell into the end zone for a 5-yard TD. Then Bourgeois passed to Bryce Jones for a two-point conversion that tied the game at 21 with 8:55 to play.
But Lab shook off an interception on its next series and came up with the go-ahead score after PCC went three-and-out following the turnover.
A 29-yard pass from Shorts to Ricard moved Lab down to the PCC 12. Then Williams finished the drive with two 6-yards runs, including the eventual game-winner.
Southern Lab held a 14-13 halftime lead and built on it on its first series of the third quarter.
Shorts connected with Ricard for a 12-yard TD pass, and Murphy Nash III added the extra point with 6:57 to go in the third quarter to give Lab a 21-13 cushion. But PCC fought back, showing the spirit it had to control the game for most of the first half.
The Cougars took advantage of good field position in the second quarter to break a scoreless tie. Johnson’s 12-yard TD run capped a 33-yard drive. Bourgeois kicked the extra point to give PCC a 7-0 edge just 15 seconds into the second quarter.
Likewise, Lab turned a short field into points. Williams’ 10-yard TD run concluded a 40-yard drive as the Kittens cut PCC’s lead to 7-6 with 7:19 to go in the first half.
The Cougars answered on the next series to increase their lead to 13-6. Bourgeois completed passes of 23 and 18 yards on the drive, then kept the ball for a 2-yard score with 3:59 left in the second quarter.
Southern Lab grabbed its first lead on the following series. Lang’s 25-yard run was a key play on the drive and helped set up a 9-yard TD pass from Shorts to Ricard. Shorts ran in for a two-point conversion and a 14-13 Kittens edge just 44 seconds before halftime.
PCC’s Bourgeois hooked up with David St. Cyr for passes of 35 and 34 yards to get to the Lab 6, but time ran out on the Cougars before they could get off another play in the first half.
St. Cyr, who led PCC with 84 receiving yards, was taken off the field by stretcher after being injured on a defensive play with 3:59 to go in the fourth quarter.