Basile High quarterback Cole Manuel (4) hands the ball off to running back Isaiah Ceasar (21) in their second round playoff game against Haynesville Friday night. Basile stunned the Golden Tornado 28-27 and will advance on to the quarterfinals this Friday night as they take on the Oberlin Tigers. (Gazette photo by Yvette Jagneaux)
All about heart
HAYNESVILLE – Calling on their relentless pursuit of playing a full four quarters, the No. 10 Basile Bearcats scored with 45 seconds left in the game and then converted on a two-point run to stun the No. 7 Haynesville Golden Tornado 28-27 in the second round of the LHSAA Class 1A playoffs.
With the win, Basile improved to 8-4 overall and will take on the No. 2 ranked Oberlin Tigers at home this Friday for a quarterfinal contest. This will be the second time this season the Bearcats and the Tigers meet on the gridiron, as Oberlin defeated Basile 41-13 in the final regular seasons game of the year.
After the game against Haynesville, a very emotional Basile head coach, Kevin Bertrand, talked about his team’s amazing play.
“It is just so hard to describe right now how big this win is for our players and the coaching staff,” stated Bertrand. “This game is a testament to our players’ heart. There was no doubt that we believed we could win this game. Being down by only one at halftime, the message was that we know that we can play with them, now let’s go show that we can do this. We have been in some close games this year, and it has prepared us for times like this. I’m just so proud of our kids right now.”
The game did not start the way Basile would have liked it to. After taking the opening kickoff, the Bearcats were forced to punt after failing to make a first down.
Haynesville took over at its 15-yard line following the punt and put together a forceful drive. Six plays into their first possession, the Golden Tornado etched the initial score of the night when Draven Hice rumbled into the end zone from 13 yards out. The extra point was good off of the foot of Eric Alford, and, with 7:43 to go in the first quarter, Haynesville led 7-0.
Basile went three and out again on its next possession. However, the Bearcat defense stepped up when Isaiah Ceasar picked off an errant Golden Tornado pass on the ensuing drive.
Starting at the Haynesville 49-yard line, Basile drove the ball down to the Golden Tornado 13-yard line in eight plays. On the second play of the second quarter, Logan David blasted his way across the goal line from 13 yards out for the score. Jose Palacios tacked on the extra point to tie the game up at seven apiece with 11:10 to go in the first half.
A three and out on Haynesville’s next drive seemed to give the Bearcats even more momentum. But, a 58- yard punt from Alford pinned Basile down at their eight-yard line.
Basile could not get the ball out of the shadow of its goal and was forced to punt the ball away. A short 25-yard kick put the Golden Tornado in business at the Bearcat 36-yard line.
Seven plays later, Jon-Travion Brown reached pay dirt on a three yard touchdown run. Alford hit the point after and Haynesville led 14-7 at the 3:54 mark of the second quarter.
Undeterred, Basile fought its way back into the ball game on its next drive. With the ball at their 20-yard line to begin their next drive, the Bearcats worked their way to the 49-yard line in two plays.
On the very next play, Ceasar took the pitch and raced 51 yards down the sideline for the score. The extra point was blocked, but Basile had cut the Haynesville lead down to one, 14-13, as the two teams headed into the locker room.
It did not take the Golden Tornado long to pick up another score. After receiving the kick off to start the second half, Haynesville drove the ball to the Basile 26-yard line in five plays.
Facing a second and 13, Hice sliced his way across the goal line, extending the Golden Tornado lead. The extra point was blocked, and, with 9:23 to go in the third quarter, Haynesville led 20-13.
Seemingly un-phased, Basile mounted another impressive drive on their next possession. From their 23-yard line, the Bearcats moved to the Golden Tornado 15-yard line in nine plays. From there, David motored past all defenders for the touchdown. Palacios added the extra point, as Basile tied the game up at 20-20 with 4:20 left in the third quarter.
Haynesville responded in a big way. The Golden Tornado put together a 10-play drive on its ensuing possession that was capped off by a 19- yard Hice run. With the extra point from Alford, Haynesville recaptured the lead, 27-20, with 11:54 left in the game.
The two teams exchanged possessions with Basile getting the ball back with a little over three minutes to go in the contest. Starting at their 25-yard line, the Bearcats methodically moved the ball to the 44-yard line, where they faced a fourth and 10 situation.
With the game on the line, quarterback Cole Manuel rolled out to his left and hit David on a crossing route that picked up 26 yards and kept the drive alive. Six plays later, Ceasar dashed into the end zone from three yards out, putting Basile down by one with 45 second to go.
The decision to go for two came without hesitation and Ceasar delivered, scoring the winning points on a two-point run.
Haynesville had one last gasp, but could not get the ball down the field in time, giving the Bearcats the upset win.