Lutcher went into its regular-season finale at Plaquemine having won three-straight games and seemed to have the ball finally bouncing its way.
All the hard work to overcome a 1-5 start gave the Bulldogs an opportunity to close the regular season with a flourish, a break-even record and a chance to perhaps host a first-round playoff game with a win over the sixth-ranked Green Devils on Friday night in Plaquemine.
A lightning-quick 21-0 deficit doomed Lutcher (4-6 overall, 3-2 in District 8-4A) although the Bulldogs made a second-half rally that could have closed the gap to seven points. Instead, the Green Devils (8-2 overall, 4-1 in district) pulled away for a 49-21 victory to hand LHS a rare losing season.
“You can’t script a start to be any worse than that,” Lutcher coach Dwain Jenkins said. “I guess the thing that you look on is how your team responds. We got punched in a heavyweight fight and got knocked down to the carpet in the first quarter but in the third quarter with two minutes left to go, we had the ball inside the 10 with a chance to make it 28-21. If we could have closed the gap to one score going into the fourth quarter, who knows? We might have been able to make one or two plays and give ourselves a chance.
“Plaquemine is a good football team and when they had a chance to step on our throat, they did. When we didn’t score that touchdown to get it to 28-21, they did what a good football team and their playmaker broke a run to set up another score and put us away.”
The playmaker was Wayne Toussant, the Green Devils’ running back and Louisiana Tech commitment.
Toussant started the Bulldogs’ misery with an 81-yard scoring run to stake Plaquemine to a 7-0 lead. When Lutcher failed to rally to within a touchdown late in the third quarter, Toussant broke loose on a long run to set up another score that allowed the Green Devils to pull away.
Lutcher mishandled the ensuing kickoff and Bryant Jones recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown and a quick 14-0 Plaquemine advantage.
The Bulldogs completed a 12-yard pass on first down to open their next drive but fumbled the ball on the play. That led to a 3-yard touchdown run by Plaquemine running back Herman Christophe and a three-touchdown deficit for Lutcher.
Lutcher finally scored on a touchdown pass from quarterback Kolby Bourgeois to Gregory Clayton but Plaquemine countered with a scoring pass of its own when Green Devils quarterback Dontayvion Wicks connected with Percy Butler with 22 seconds left in the half to make it 28-7.
Bourgeois and Clayton hooked up again for a touchdown early in the third quarter to make it 28-14.
The Bulldogs faced first-and-goal later in the third quarter and with a chance to rally to within seven points. Penalties backed up Lutcher, which went on to miss a field-goal attempt.
Two plays later, Toussant broke loose on a 70-yard run deep into Lutcher territory. That led to the first of three late Plaquemine touchdowns as the Green Devils pulled away for a 49-14 lead.
Lutcher’s Daevon Adams scored on a 2-yard touchdown late in the game to account for the 49-21 final.