Ville Platte High’s Ja’Bronski Edwards carries a Mamou Demon defender with him as he tries to gain some positive yardage in Friday night’s game between the two district and parish rivals. The Bulldogs slipped past Mamou 18-12 in the final 10 seconds of the game to get their first win of the season. (Gazette photo by Yvette Jagneaux)
MAMOU -- In a showdown between teams looking for their first win of the season, the Ville Platte Bulldogs scored with 10 seconds on the clock to ease past the Mamou Demons 18-12 in a District 5-3A contest Friday night.
With the win, Ville Platte improved to 1-2 on the season and will host Iota this coming Friday night in another District 5-3A clash.
The loss dropped Mamou to 0-2 on the season. The Demons now travel to Pine Prairie on Friday for a battle with the Panthers.
After the game, Ville Platte High head coach Jorie Randle talked about how important getting a win was for his team.
“You would not imagine how good it feels to get that first win of the season,” stated Randle. “With everything going on with COVID, we didn’t even know if we would get to play this season. It is easy for the players to doubt themselves. Now they can feel it, they can touch it. Hopefully this will translate into some much needed momentum.”
Ville Platte took possession of the ball first to open up the game. Starting at their 29-yard line, the Bulldogs drove down to the Mamou 24.
On second and one, Ville Platte fumbled the ball, where the Demon defense was able to pounce on the ball, thus killing a promising Bulldog drive.
Mamou could not get its offense going on their its possession and had to punt the football back to Ville Platte. In fact neither team had much success on offense as the first quarter came to a close with no points on the board.
Midway through the second quarter, the Demons regained possession at their 26-yard line following a Ville Platte punt. The Demons lost yardage on their first two plays and, after a false start call, threw an incomplete pass.
Facing a fourth and 26 from its 15-yard line, Mamou was forced to punt the ball away. However, a bobbled snap on the attempted kick forced Demon punter Jonathan Hand to run with the ball.
Ville Platte tackled Hand at the 10-yard line, where the Bulldogs would take over possession.
A holding call on the first play from scrimmage brought Ville Platte back to the Mamou 21-yard line. A loss of four on second down caused some concern for Randle and the offense, until quarterback Ernest Roberts was able to take the ball over the right side for a 25- yard touchdown run.
The extra point was blocked, but Ville Platte owned a 6-0 lead with 5:42 to go in the second quarter.
Following the touchback on the kickoff, Mamou took control of the ball at its 20-yard line. Finding some space to run the ball, the Demons marched down to the Bulldog 10-yard line in nine plays.
In three plays, Mamou was only able to advance one yard. On fourth and goal from the Ville Platte nine, Demon quarterback Jalon Bradley tried to hit wide out Devin Papillion on an out route, but the ball was broken up by a Bulldog defender, thus shutting down the Mamou scoring hopes.
As the two teams headed into the locker room, Ville Platte held on to their six point lead.
The Demons opened up the second half with another impressive drive. Utilizing the running of Bradley and tailback Elson Laurent, Mamou drove the ball 62 yards in 10 plays, reaching the Bulldog 12-yard line. But, just like the drive before, the Demons were stopped on fourth and goal and had to turn the ball back over on downs.
Ville Platte would not have much success after taking over the football. The Bulldogs picked up only three yards and were forced to punt from their 15 yard line.
Nevertheless, Ville Platte would get the ball right back when the Demons’ punt returner muffed the ball, allowing the Bulldog punt team to recover at their 45-yard line.
On the very first play, Ville Platte coughed the ball up at their 40-yard line, allowing Mamou to recover the fumble. The Demons picked up the ball an got it down to the Bulldog 17.
Three plays later, Devin Ardoin would take the handoff on the jet sweep and glide into the end zone for the first score of the game for the Demons. The two-point run failed, however, the game was now tied at 6-6 with 4:10 left in the third quarter.
As the third quarter turned into the fourth, Ville Platte owned possession of the ball following the Mamou kickoff. The Bulldogs took the ball down to the Demon 40-yard line, but turned it over on downs on an incomplete pass from Roberts to Latelldrick Prejean.
Once again, Mamou put together another nice drive, pounding the ball down to the Ville Platte six-yard line. And, just like two of the previous three possessions, the Demons could not close the deal, as they had to turn the ball over on downs when a fourth and goal run netted zero yards.
What the Mamou offense could not do, the defense could. On the first snap of the ensuing Bulldog drive, a bad exchange on the handoff caused the ball to roll back into the end zone from the six-yard line.
Mamou jumped on the ball beyond the goal line, giving the Demons a six point lead. The two-point conversion was not successful, leaving the score 12-6 Mamou with 7:45 to go in the game.
That lead did not last long. After Ville Platte failed to convert on a fake punt, the Demons re-gained possession at their 47-yard line. On the very first play, a bad snap over Bradley’s head was scooped up by Ja’Bronskie Edwards at the 35-yard line, where he outraced the trailing Demon players for the touchdown.
The extra point was not good, but with 5:30 to go in the game the score was knotted back up 12-12.
On their its possession of the game, Mamou was unable to substantially move the ball, forcing the Demons to punt it back to Ville Platte.
The Bulldogs took over possession on their 28-yard line with just over three minutes to go in the contest. In six plays, Ville Platte found themselves at the Demon 35 and just 18 seconds left in the contest.
On first down, Roberts dropped back to pass and found Jakhalan Slaughter all alone at about the 20-yard line. Slaughter hauled in the pass and cruised into the end zone for the score with just 10 seconds showing on the clock.
The two-point conversion was no good, but it did not matter as the Bulldogs now owned an 18-12 lead.
Mamou had one last chance with the ensuing kickoff. However, the Demons could only return the ball back to the 40-yard line, thus running out the time on the clock.
After the game, Mamou head coach Dwight Collins was not happy with his team’s play.
“I just don’t know what to say,” said Collins. “We just had a whole bunch of blown plays in the red zone. We had too many mental busts. We had guys going the wrong way, guys not taking correct blocking steps. This is what we get when we do not do things the right way.”
Leading the way on the ground for Ville Platte was Jaekwon Fontenot, who carried the ball 13 times for 71 yards. Roberts ended the night with 42 yards through the air on two of nine passing. Slaughter caught both passes for 42 yards and a touchdown.
For Mamou, Bradley toted the ball eight times for 64 yards and completed three of 10 passing attempts for 47 yards. Ardoin hauled in two catches for 37 yards.