East Feliciana defeats West Feliciana with second half comeback

Friday night’s clash between bitter rivals East and West Feliciana football teams was a story of two halves.

The first half saw the West Feliciana Saints dominate in almost all facets, as the Saints led the East Feliciana Tigers 20-6 going into the half.

The story of the entire first half for East Feliciana was being able to get the ball down the field on huge plays, but not being able to capitalize in the red zone. That was shown perfectly when it looked like the Tigers were about to score toward the end of the half, but were picked off by the Saints near the goal line.

That changed from the opening whistle of the second half as the Tigers took the kickoff all the way back for a touchdown. That play was called back due to a penalty, but it was there that the momentum shifted.

West Feliciana was able to get the ball back and score on a short touchdown run from Malik Jacob, bringing the score to 28-6. From that point forward, it was all East Feliciana.

The Tigers struck with a quick touchdown immediately after the touchdown drive from the Saints, finally getting back on the board and beginning to cut down the lead. Then, they were able to get the ball back yet again off a turnover. This is where the door for a comeback cracked open for East Feliciana.

Tigers’ quarterback Caleb Anderson, kicked that door open with two great runs, the second being a touchdown, to put 6 more points on for the Tigers.

The East Feliciana defense dominated the West Feliciana offense on the next drive, taking the punter down inside the 10-yard line and the offense immediately capitalized with a touchdown run from Rodriquez London. That brought the score up to 28-24, and the game that once looked to be a blowout became a toss-up.

The Tigers pinned the Saints deep in their own territory, making them play on a very short field. East Feliciana’s defense would take full advantage, forcing a fumble and bringing it into the end zone for a touchdown. For the first time all game, the Tigers had the lead, 30-28.

They would not soon let go of that lead, winning the rivalry game and avenging one of last year’s road losses in the process.

Now, this was a really sloppy game on both sides, but that is to be expected in the opening days of the football season. Regardless of the quality of play, this was a huge win for East Feliciana.

East Feliciana head coach Cedric Anderson was unavailable for comment after the game, but the Tigers have another home game against St. Helena College and Career Academy to look forward to. Hopefully they can continue their winning ways.

For West Feliciana, everything that could have gone wrong in this game seemingly did. Head coach Robb Odom fell ill during the early game and was unable to return for the remainder of play. That had to have created unforeseen chaos on the sidelines for the Saints. Star lineman Brady Smith also had an early exit from the game following an injury, and his absence hurt the Saints noticeably. There were a plethora of other players who went out as well from what looked to be cramps, which is to be expected when playing on such a hot, humid and miserable night in south Louisiana.

Whether it be a question of injuries, conditioning or other factors, the Saints have a lot to improve upon going into the next game at Livonia. However, based on how they played in the first half, there's no doubt that they can fix their errors and come back as a better team come this Friday.

Football Friday night

Elsewhere in the Felicianas, Silliman Institute picked up a big win, defeating Centreville Academy 36-6 to bounce back from a 21-14 loss to Parklane Academy the week before. They will play Oak Forest Academy on Friday with hopes of moving to 3-1 on the season.

Slaughter Charter suffered a 22-0 loss against East Iberville, but they will look to pick things back up on the road against Parkview Baptist on Friday.

Joel Robinson covers sports for The Democrat and The Watchman. To share tips about area sports news, email extra@theadvocate.com