A determined St. Amant High team snapped a three-game losing streak with two gutsy fourth-quarter drives and two key first-half defensive plays by senior end Dylan Matherne.
Nathan Taylor also rushed for two touchdowns to pace St. Amant to a 28-24 road victory over Woodlawn on Friday night at WHS.
“We needed a win,” St. Amant coach David Oliver said. “We were wounded but the Gators aren’t dead yet. We made a bunch of huge plays on offense, defense and special teams.”
St. Amant (4-4) and Woodlawn (5-3) are both 1-2 in District 5-5A.
There were two lead changes in the fourth quarter. Woodlawn took its first lead at 24-21 with 8:51 remaining following a 28-yard pass from Charles Brooks to Taj Sullivan. That capped a six-play, 54-yard drive.
The drive was extended on a fourth-and-1 situation when Javin Myers took an option pitch right and appeared to be stopped for a loss but somehow changed directions and ran to the left sideline for six yards and a first down.
The Gators quickly punted on their next series, and Woodlawn put together a drive that ended with Alex Derouselle intercepting Brooks at the St. Amant 1-yard line.
Woodlawn was whistled for a personal foul on the next play. Then Taylor ran 84 yards off left tackle for the winning score with 6:00 remaining.
Woodlawn’s next series ended with a Brooks punt that rolled to the St. Amant 5-yard line. St. Amant ran out the final four minutes and picked up three rushing first downs and one passing in a difficult third-and-17 situation. St. Amant’s Marquise Hampton made a spectacular diving catch of a Tyler Dixon pass for a 26-yard gain.
“We didn’t get the job done tonight, and we didn’t play well,” Woodlawn coach Brett Beard said. “We made too many mistakes and had selfish penalties. We’ve got to finish drives and finish games.”
St. Amant led 21-14 at the half. Woodlawn cut the deficit to 21-17 following a 25-yard field goal by Hassan Chabayta with 1:12 remaining in the third quarter.
Woodlawn had a 76-yard drive that stalled in the red zone late in the first half.
Woodlawn had three shots from the St. Amant 4-yard line. On fourth down, Woodlawn ran a sweep right play but Matherne read the play and tackled Sullivan for a 2-yard loss.
With Woodlawn in punt formation earlier in the second quarter, Matherne bull-rushed the upback, driving him back five yards and into the football as Brooks lofted a punt that was blocked. Taylor scored on a 5-yard run on the next play to put the Gators up 21-14.
Hampton opened the St. Amant scoring with a 78-yard pass from Dixon with 3:07 remaining in the first quarter. Woodlawn’s Ryan Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to tie it at 7.
The Gators added a 22-yard run by Richard Williams and the Panthers tied it at 14 on a 6-yard pass from Brooks to Ashton Johnson.
Dixon rushed 21 times for 57 yards and completed 9 of 18 passes for 169 yards, and Taylor had 112 yards rushing on six carries. Williams had 11 rushes for 61 yards, while Hampton had three catches for 130 yards.
Eight different players had receptions for Woodlawn. Sullivan led the way with eight catches for 125 yards. Brooks rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries and completed 19 of 32 passes for 230 yards.