LAFAYETTE — A scoop and a sprint helped Carencro High School cement a share of the District 3-5A crown.
Lafayette High was holding a 17-14 advantage over the Golden Bears with about 3:30 remaining in the fourth quarter Friday night in Lafayette when senior D’Ronne Littleton picked up a bouncing punt at his own 39-yard line.
“I watched it take the first bounce and I knew I had a clear path and I picked it up,” Littleton said.
The second bounce was followed by a 61-yard race to the end zone, which Littleton finished with a leap. “I knew my man on the edge had the block and I just had that extra burst at the end,” Littleton said.
That moment gave Carencro a cushion on the way to a 21-17 win, but the Golden Bears needed a couple of other boosts during the final few minutes. Senior cornerback Gabe Duffy intercepted a deep pass by Lafayette quarterback Tre Celestine with two minutes left. The Golden Bears were forced to punt on the ensuing drive, but a muffed punt and a recovery allowed Carencro to erase the rest of the time and end Lafayette’s hopes for a comeback.
The victory gave Carencro (8-2, 6-1) a piece of the district title along with Barbe (8-2, 6-1).
“I was thinking about staying in the coaches’ box, but I figured I better come down (to the field),” Carencro coach Rip Eveland said. “The defense played a great game.”
Neither offense was able to gain much of a foothold in the first half, as a 28-yard field goal by Lions kicker Stevie Artigue accounted for the only score during the first 24 minutes. However, Carencro managed to make a change in the span of two plays. The Bears received a punt at their own 43 and used an 8-yard run by running back Tyreik Campbell and a 49-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tyler Gaspard to receiver Donald Stokes to put Carencro on top for the first time, 7-3 with 10:05 remaining in the third quarter.
“Lafayette kept us off the field and we didn’t throw the ball well,” Eveland said. “We had too many incomplete passes and they did a good job on us on first down.”
The Lions responded by gradually gaining momentum thanks to a 7-yard touchdown run by Keshawn Young and a 4-yard keeper by Celestine. Young was the main catalyst for the Lions’ offense as he finished with 99 yards and the one score.
After a slow first half that saw Carencro net only nine rushing yards, Campbell managed to finish with 64 yards and a score on a 1-yard plunge.
Lafayette finished its season with a 4-6 overall mark and a 1-6 district record. The Bears will wait to find out their first playoff opponent.
“A district championship shows how much hard work we put in during the summer to improve,” Littleton said.