In a battle of one team trying to solidify its playoff seeding and the other in a must-win situation to maintain any postseason hopes, the more desperate team won in Thibodaux’s 28-18 victory over visiting East St. John.
The result dropped East St. John to 4-5 overall and 3-3 in District 7-5A. Thibodaux improved to 3-6 overall and 2-3 in district.
East St. John entered the game No. 24 in the unofficial power rankings for the 32-team playoff field while Thibodaux was No. 38.
ESJ closes the regular season next Friday with a non-district game against 5-3 South Lafourche.
The Wildcats saw a 12-7 halftime lead quickly disappear in the third quarter.
Thibodaux quarterback DaMarcus Mitchell raced 65 yards on the opening play from scrimmage in the second half and the Tigers added a two-point conversion for a 15-12 lead.
East St. John countered on a 3-yard pass from Sean Shelby to Hoxie Brown as the Wildcats regained the lead at 18-15 but it would prove to be the final points for an ESJ team that squandered several scoring opportunities in the game.
Thibodaux took the lead for good when Tanner Guillot scored on a 2-yard run to give Thibodaux a 22-28 advantage with 3:42 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wildcats quickly marched into Thibodaux territory but a Dezmonta Ellis interception ended the threat for East St. John.
Thibodaux secured the win with less than eight minutes remaining in the game when Guillot scored on a 27-yard run to put the Tigers on top 28-18.
Any chances the Wildcats had for a rally when Thibodaux’s Davion Ayro intercepted a pass at the goal line in the closing minutes of the game.
Thibodaux broke a scoreless tie late in the first quarter on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Mitchell to Cordell Wilson for a 7-0 Tigers lead.
Shelby connected with Javon Antonio on a 29-yard touchdown pass to narrow the margin to one point at 7-6 only 10 seconds into the second quarter.
A 4-yard pass from Shelby to Keller gave East St. John a 12-7 lead that would hold up through halftime.