CECILIA — "The Civil War" lived up to its name Friday as the Cecilia Bulldogs hosted Breaux Bridge in one of Acadiana's best rivalries.
Fittingly, the battle lasted until the final seconds, and visiting Tigers survived the upset bid from Cecilia 38-37 to open District 6-4A play.
Jacob Landry's clutch 30-yard field goal with 2:48 left to play provided the winning margin for Breaux Bridge (5-1) in overcoming Cecilia's charge.
"We've got really good players, and our coaches do a good job of putting them at the right spots," Breaux Bridge coach Chad Pourciau said. "But at the end of the day, they've got to make plays, and when it counted, our guys made plays.”
Before we flip the page to the second half of the 2019 high school football season, let’s look back at the first half of the year and hand out…
Indeed, Breaux Bridge's players got the message early on with Cecilia setting the tone for the evening very early in the game — and as the showdown progressed, both teams went back in forth in getting points on the board.
Breaux Bridge quarterback Gavan Courville, who completed just two of his first six passes, started to warm up. He connected with Dartravien Girod on a 76-yard touchdown that gave the Tigers a 14-12 lead.
After a Week 1 loss to St. Martinville, Cecilia coach Dennis Skains inserted Alex Soileau at quarterback, and the sophomore hasn't looked back.
There were three lead changes over the first three quarters and then the final period added another. On a second-and-three play, Cecilia quarterback Alex Soileau threw a short swing pass to Dillard Calais, who took it 72 yards for a touchdown and a short-lived 25-21 lead for the Bulldogs.
Again the Tigers responded — this time with two long pass plays from Courville to running back Kavion Martin, covering 35 and 23 yards, setting up another 1-yard touchdown run by Jacob Landry.
Cecilia didn't wave the white flag just yet. After their drive ended in a punt, the Bulldogs pinned the ball on the 5-yard line. The Bulldogs came up big on defense with a forced fumble from Laison Milson to give the ball right back to Cecilia for a first-and-goal.
The barnburner continued as Soileau threw a 5-yard pass to Germonie Davis for the score, but the Bulldogs missed another extra point, leaving their lead at 31-28.
Those missed extra points proved costly when Courville used a 31-yard completion to Kyser Patt, and Breaux Bridge ended its 73-yard drive with a 2-yard Martin touchdown run with 5:40 left to play.
Editor's note: This file will be updated throughout the weekend as scores, stats and stories are submitted.
“He’s unbelievable," Pourciau said of Courville. "He’s a first-year starter. I sure hope some schools just look at him. He’s 6-3, 185 pounds; he can throw the ball a mile. He’s a 4.0 student. He got a 25 on the ACT. I hope colleges read the paper. ... Because he’s a first-year starter, he didn’t get a lot of exposure. ... But tonight, he was just outstanding.”
Cecilia scored on a 42-yard run from Danarious Journet to give the Bulldogs a 37-35 lead in the closing minutes of the game.
As the Tigers set up one of their deciding drives, Courville threw a 21-yard pass to Girod that looked to set them up for a score. Three incompletions set the Tigers up for a 30-yard field goal from Landry, who had fumbled the ball earlier in the half.
Landry drilled the field goal in the middle to give the Tigers the lead, 38-37.
“We haven’t practiced field goal since the jamboree," Porciau said. "And he (Landry) comes in and hits a 30-yard field goal and he says, 'Coach, it’s in the middle; I’m going to make it.' To have confidence after you fumble the ball ... the resiliency of some of the kids was impressive.”
In the final seconds, Cecilia marched down to the 22-yard line and faced a third-and-12. A pass intended to Calais was intercepted by Girod for the Tigers to cement the win.