Running back Tre Turner didn’t start for Holy Cross in its game at Chalmette on Friday night. However, when he did come in, he made a big impact, rushing for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.
That, and the performance of freshman quarterback Chandler Fields, who completed 10 of 17 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns, keyed the Tigers’ 35-20 victory at Bobby Nuss Stadium.
Fields has been filling in for senior starter Kyle Schexnayder, who has been sidelined with a foot injury since before the season began.
“Chandler has done a heck of a job over the past three weeks,” Tigers coach Eric Rebaudo said. “He’s played way above being a freshman.”
Turner had been out with a shoulder injury, which also occurred before the season began.
“We were trying to hold Tre back,” Rebaudo said. “He’s fully cleared (but) we limited his touches.”
Fields threw two touchdown passes in the final two minutes, 50 seconds of the second quarter, which helped Holy Cross pull away to a 28-13 halftime lead.
“That made a big difference,” Chalmette coach Jason Tucker said. “At key times when we had an opportunity to get the momentum, we either made a mistake or got a penalty that really set us back.”
Fields rolled out right and threw a 9-yard pass to wide receiver Bret Carter at 2:50 of the second quarter, capping an eight-play, 64-yard drive that began with the Tigers getting the ball on their 36 after a pooch kick.
On its next possession, Holy Cross got the ball at its 48 with 1:31 showing after a Chalmette punt. Fields completed two passes for 16 yards before connecting with receiver Jordan Alexis for a 36-yard score with 51 seconds left before halftime.
Turner scored on a 25-yard touchdown burst up the middle that gave the Tigers a 14-7 lead at 1:56 of the first quarter. He got Holy Cross’ only touchdown of the second half — a 23-yard touchdown run with 44 seconds left in the third quarter that increased the led to 35-13.
Chalmette moved the ball in the second half, but the Tigers defense stepped up each time to halt the drive.
The Owls scored on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Dominic Curole to Noah Thomas with 3:44 left in the game to make things interesting. Chalmette then recovered the onside at the Holy Cross 47 but gained just two yards.
On its previous possession, Chalmette drove from its 24 to the Tigers’ 26, where the drive stalled.
Ashton Smith, who started in place of Turner, gave Holy Cross a 7-0 lead, ending an eight-play, 50-yard drive on the game’s first possession.
Chalmette answered with a 66-yard drive that ended with Masen Mitchell’s 1-yard run. The Owls came to 14-13 midway of the second quarter when Fields was stripped of the ball by Chalmette linebacker Laterrel Hill, which was returned 17 yards for a touchdown by Joseph Saul.