LAFAYETTE — Down 17 points in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame coach Lewis Cook said his Pioneers couldn’t have looked any worse against Teurlings Catholic.
“Nothing went our way, and every penalty went against us,” Cook said. “(Teurlings) made plays and there was nothing we could really hang our hat on.”
Teurlings was dominant, but the Pios had two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to get within three points, and they had the ball with 2:51 to play and a chance to win the game. Brad Stoma’s fourth-and-13 pass fell short, however, and the Rebels escaped a thriller with a 17-14 win.
“They don’t know how to quit on that (Notre Dame) sideline,” Teurlings coach Sonny Charpentier said. “Their program is not about quitting. We let our foot off the gas and let it slip away, but our defense played great all night. When you shut Notre Dame out going into the fourth quarter, you are doing some things right.”
Rebels quarterback Cole Kelley threw for 338 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Cook said playing against the 6-foot-7 junior and his big receivers presented matchup problems for the undersized Pios.
“They’re big, and they look like a (Class) 4A team,” Cook said. “He is good. He is coming on, and the kids catch the ball well. Those guys know how to coach and they know what to do, but our guys didn’t back down, and I’m proud of that.”
Charpentier said he thought Kelley played well but made too many mistakes for his liking. Kelley completed 54 percent of his passes, and Charpentier said his staff must do a better job coaching Kelley in certain situations.
“Cole will be the first to tell you he did some good things tonight, but he did an awful lot of bad things,” Charpentier said. “It’s the third week of the season and this team still has some work to do.”
Among the good things Kelley did: hitting Nate Arceneaux for a 35-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and Ike Hidalgo in the third for an 8-yard score. Kelley completed passes to six different receivers, and he opened the game 9-for-9.
The Pios started with a 17-play drive that took nearly eight minutes off the clock but ended with a fumble on the 2-yard line. Charpentier called that “Notre Dame football” but said playing that way is susceptible to mistakes.
“The more you touch it, the more chances you have of doing something bad. That is their style of football. They ground and pound, and I thought once we had them playing from behind, that was a big advantage for us.”
In the fourth quarter, Notre Dame made it close with a Stoma 12-yard touchdown run and a Lance Bertrand 6-yard touchdown run. Cook said finding a way to get back into the game in the fourth quarter will do a lot for the Pios later in the season.
“We didn’t execute and we shot ourselves in the foot,” Cook said. “They got us, but I think we grew up after this one.”
The usually timid Charpentier was uncharacteristically animated on the sideline Friday. He said the rivalry between these two schools is respectful, but it’s one he enjoys winning.
“We have been playing forever and we like each other,” Charpentier said. “It’s never been an ugly rivalry, but you always like to beat your friends.”