It was a dream end to the season for one junior quarterback.
A nightmare finish for the other.
Moments after Lutcher High School quarterback Jontre Kirklin and his teammates lifted the Class 3A state championship trophy, St. James’ Lowell Narcisse was being lifted onto a cart and taken off the field of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Narcisse injured his right knee late in the fourth quarter of his team’s 41-14 loss.
It’s the same knee Narcisse injured during the spring game when he tore his ACL before heroically returning to spark the Wildcats’ playoff run.
Narcisse’s mother, Stacy Narcisse, said Saturday night that the MRI revealed there were no tears.
“It was just a little bumped and bruised,” she said.
Narcisse, who is committed to Auburn, watched the final few minutes of the game on crutches with a towel draped over his head.
After the game, players from Lutcher walked over to Narcisse and gave them their well wishes. He received a loud ovation from the St. James fans.
“He’s a special football player and he has a lot of respect,” Wildcats coach Dwain Jenkins about the gesture from the rival school from the parish.
Narcisse missed the entire regular season rehabbing his knee after tearing his ACL in May, then returned for the playoffs and led St. James’ improbable run as a No. 15 seed.
He completed 15 of 26 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown despite being under the constant pressure from Lutcher’s defense. His touchdown came on the opening drive of the game. It was a good start for the Wildcats, who were shut out 32- 0 in their regular-season meeting against Lutcher.
Narcisse also finished with 62 rushing yards on 14 carries. The last of those 4 yards came on the final run of his season when he was injured near the Lutcher sideline.
He was named Most Outstanding Player for the Wildcats. His counterpart, Kirklin, won the honors for his team after accounting for five touchdowns.
Kirklin completed 14 of 26 passes for 150 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 137 yards and two more touchdowns.
“He’s been doing a great job all year,” Lutcher assistant coach Craig Zeringue said.
Kirklin came into the game having thrown for 2,257 yards and 35 touchdowns while rushing for 1,081 yards and 17 TDs.
Unlike Narcisse, Kirklin doesn’t have schools ringing his phone off the hook with scholarship offers. His only two offers thus far are from Nicholls State and Tulane.
“I always take the game of football personal,” Kirklin said. “I feel like I’m so underrated, so I wanted a chance to prove myself.”
He did just that against Narcisse, considered the best dual-threat quarterback in the nation.
But Saturday, it was Kirklin who got the bragging rights as best dual-threat QB in St. James Parish.
Kirklin was one of the ones who talked to Narcisse afterward.
“I told him that he played a hell of a game,” Kirklin said. “I’m glad I got a chance to play against someone like him since he came back from his ACL injury.
“All of us have played with and against each other growing, so it’s like one big family.”