- Game Recap
- RPF Staff
- November 24, 2018 - 1:18am
By Roy Lang III
LOGANSPORT, La. - Despite three failed trips to the red zone Friday night, in the waning moments, defending Class A champion West St. John stood 10 yards from the end zone with a chance to return to the semifinals.
There wasn’t really a play call, but an order.
“We just told him to get the ball to the playmakers,” Rams coach Brandon Walters said. “Sometimes it’s not a play – just get the ball to them. That was one of them.”
On fourth down, quarterback D’Andre Gaudia threw a ball into the fog toward the right corner of the end zone. Trenton Grow outran his single coverage and hauled in the desperation heave to cap a rally from 17 points down and defeat previously undefeated Logansport 24-23 at Tiger Stadium.
“I knew the ball was coming to me,” Grow said. “We practiced it all week and I made a big play.”
“I was looking for one of my best players, and he got it done,” Gaudia said.
The fourth-seeded Tigers led 17-0 late in the fourth quarter but couldn’t hang on at home, a place they hadn’t lost in more than three years.
No. 5 West St. John (9-2), who eliminated the Tigers (10-1) in last year’s semifinal round, will travel to face top-seeded Oak Grove for the right to play in the Superdome.
“We blew a 17-point lead – good teams don’t do that. I take full responsibility for that – 100 percent,” Logansport coach Kevin Magee said. “When you get to this level and you build a lead like that, you can’t just try to get out of the game. You have to attack and make big plays. Maybe I was trying not to lose more than I was trying to win it.”
The Logansport offense netted three yards in the final 20 minutes of the game.
West St. John climbed within one possession when Kylan Duhe scampered into the end zone from 10 yards out to make it 17-12, but Logansport’s Austin Edgar returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown with 7:23 remaining.
“It was a war for four quarters,” Magee said.
Gaudia, who was magical in the second half, closed the gap to 23-18 with an 11-yard run with 4:34 left.
The Rams then forced a three-and-out and took control of the ball at their 35 with 2:28 left. West St. John used all but nine seconds of the clock with an 11-play drive that included a pair of fourth-down conversions.
Gaudia finished with 171 yards passing, 76 yards rushing and three total touchdowns.
“It’s indescribable,” Walters said. “Our team is used to fighting through things. I appreciate what they did. It’s not easy to come in here and get a win, but that’s what we did.”
Duhe compiled 158 yards from scrimmage, including 111 rushing and a touchdown.
Late in the first quarter, with the game scoreless, Edgar, also Logansport’s punter, watched a snap sail over his head into the end zone. He made a nifty play to escape trouble but could only manage his own 6-yard line.
However, the Tigers came up with big plays on four straight runs. The final stop came within inches of the goal line.
In the first three quarters, West St. John had three trips inside the Tigers’ 20 that produced zero points, yet they cashed in on the opportunities with their season on the line.
“Testament to character and fortitude,” Walters said. “Our guys have been through a lot. We fight no matter what.”