Lutcher held a narrow 20-17 lead with two minutes remaining in the third quarter but then pulled away for a 33-23 win over Woodlawn in District 6-4A action Friday night in Baton Rouge.
“You don’t want to sound disappointed sometimes when you win but I thought tonight’s game is something we can learn from,” Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins said. “I don’t think we came out focused. In phases of the game, we played well really well at times but other times we didn’t. We have to put together a better week of practice and continue to move in the right direction and put it behind us. We have some things to correct going into Week 9, but it’s better to make those corrections coming off a win than coming off a loss.”
Trailing 20-10 at halftime, Woodlawn (2-6 overall, 1-2 in district) closed to within three points on a 5-yard touchdown run by Tyrell Smith with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Lutcher (5-3 overall, 2-1 in district) responded with a touchdown pass from quarterback Kolby Bourgeois to receiver Jacoby Williams to put the Bulldogs back on top, this time at 27-17 with nine minutes left in the game.
“We got the ball back and needed a big play and Kolby Bourgeois and Jacoby Williams found another way to make a big one in the game to make the lead to make it a two-score game, which was important because you don’t want it to come down to their kicker. He has range from 50-plus yards,” said Jenkins, referring to Woodlawn’s Jacob Barnes, a Louisiana Tech commitment.
With starting running back Rondell Mealey out of the game in the second half with an ankle sprain, Damario Brown scored on a touchdown run to extend the Lutcher lead to 33-17.
“Offensively, we did a real good job of running the football with Rondell Mealey out of the game,” Jenkins said.
Woodlawn made it 33-23 on a long touchdown pass.
“We got caught peaking in the backfield and receiver ran right past us for a 70-yard touchdown pass,” said Jenkins.
The Bulldogs were able to run out the final few minutes of the clock to seal the victory.
Lutcher made the most of limited opportunities, scoring on all three of its first-half possessions.
“I thought Woodlawn did a good job of controlling the tempo of the game. They really limited the possessions. We only had the ball for three possessions in the first half. We got the ball back the fourth time with like 30 seconds left,” Jenkins said.
Lutcher’s first score came on a short touchdown run by Mealey to cap a 60-yard drive for a 6-0 lead.
The Bulldogs marched more than 90 yards on their second score, culminating the drive on a touchdown pass from Bourgeois to Williams to make it 13-0.
After a Barnes field goal, Mealey raced 80 yards to give Lutcher a 20-3 advantage.
A touchdown run by Smith allowed the Panthers to narrow the margin to 20-10 at halftime.