Sacred Heart wide receiver Bryce Deville finds running room after a catch in a game played earlier this season. (Gazette file photo)
Sacred Heart loses in final seconds to Catholic, P.C.
NEW ROADS -- For some unknown reason, when the Sacred Heart Trojans battle the Catholic of Point Coupee Hornets, drama ensues.
Two years ago, Sacred Heart found themselves on the losing side of a 23-17 game that came down to the last play.
Friday night history basically repeated itself, as the Trojans once again gave up a touchdown in the waning seconds of the game to fall to the Hornets 28-22 in the first district game of the season for both schools.
With the loss, Sacred Heart fell to 2-1 overall on the season. The Trojans will play host to Westminster this coming Friday in a District 5-1A match-up.
Despite the loss, Sacred Heart head coach Josh Harper was pleased with the effort that his team put forth on the field of play.
“It hurts to lose a game like this, especially after we battled to get back into the ball game,” stated Harper. “But, our guys did not stop grinding the whole game. Right now, I am so proud of the way they fought the entire time. This was a good measuring stick for us. Now we know we can play with the best teams in the state.”
Sacred Heart found themselves behind the eight ball early on in the contest. Taking the opening kickoff, the Trojans were able to put a drive together that covered 23 yards in nine plays to the Catholic 32-yard line. However, on second and eight Hornet defensive back and D-1 prospect Matthew Langlois stepped in front of an Ethan Karonika pass for the interception at the 19-yard line.
Four plays later, Langlois broke loose for a 74-yard touchdown run that gave Catholic their first score of the night. The point after was good and with 5:50 to go in the first quarter, the Hornets led 7-0.
Sacred Heart took over after the ensuing kickoff, but was forced to punt the ball back to Catholic after reaching the mid-field stripe.
The first play following the Trojan punt, Langlois found his way through the Trojan defense once again, this time racing 71 yards for the score. The two-point conversion was successful, giving the Hornets a 15-0 lead with 2:20 remaining in the first quarter.
The two teams exchanged possessions into the second quarter, with Sacred Heart getting the ball back at their 37-yard line and just a little over six minutes to go before half. On the first play from scrimmage, Karonika connected with Bryce Deville for a 63 yard touchdown pass, cutting into the Catholic lead. The point after attempt failed, however, the Hornets only led by nine, 15-6, with 6:28 to go in the first half.
Catholic wasted no time getting back on the board. Taking over at their 46-yard line following the kickoff, the Hornets got to the Sacred Heart 25-yard line in only seven plays.
On first and ten, Langlois fought his way through the Trojan defense for his third touchdown of the night, this time from 25 yards out. With the extra point, the Hornets had now extended the lead to 22-6 with 3:16 to go in the quarter.
Feeling the need to get back on the board, Sacred Heart mounted a nice drive on their very next possession. Starting from their 17-yard line, the Trojans went to the air, reaching the Catholic four-yard line in 10 plays.
On fourth and goal from the four, Karonika found tight end Issac Leger in the end zone. Leger made a tremendous catch, helping to slice into the Hornet lead. Karonika added the two-point run, making it a 22-14 game with no time left in the half.
The third quarter began with Catholic fumbling the football at their 34-yard line on the very first play from scrimmage. Sacred Heart recovered and marched down to the Hornet three-yard line, but was denied the end zone on fourth and goal.
As the third quarter turned into the fourth quarter, the Trojans continued to fire away at the Catholic defense. Those body blows finally paid off for Sacred Heart about halfway through the final period.
On a drive that started at the Hornet 43-yard line, Sacred Heart moved the ball to the Catholic six. On third and goal, Landon LeBlanc would haul in a Karonika pass for the score.
On the two point conversion, Karonika found Leger, who made a spectacular grab, toe-tapping his way for the tie, 22-22.
Catholic took over a their 32-yard line following the ensuing kickoff and 6:19 showing on the clock. The Hornets ate up yards and time, driving to the Sacred Heart 23-yard line in 13 plays and eating up all but 25 seconds in the quarter.
On fourth and goal, Catholic was stymied by the Trojan defense, giving one last shot for Sacred Heart. Taking a shot at the win, Harper called for a double pass. Unfortunately, the ball was picked off by Langlois and brought back 55 yards for the game winning score.
“You have to respect their football team and their program,” said Harper. “We gave every effort tonight, but just came up a little short.”