Terrebonne is not under the radar anymore.
Sparked by 20 unanswered second half points, the Tigers pulled away from East St. John 33-12 to move to a perfect 7-0 overall record, 3-0 in District 7-5A.
“Our kids at halftime decided we weren't playing well enough like we have in the past and came out with a little more emotion,” said Terrebonne coach Gary Hill. “East St John is a good football team, and we knew coming in that it was going to be tough. Coaches made some great adjustments at the half, we were able to run the ball a little bit more like we needed and we made some good plays, we were just able to get the momentum and keep it and stay on top. We've been a second half team all year thank God we were again.”
It was the Terrebonne defense that propelled a 20-point second half surge.
Trailing 13-12, East St. John was at the Terrebonne ten-yard line when the Tigers defense came up big. First Will Robinson and Colby Clement combined on a third down sack. On 4th-and-12 from the 21-yard line the Wildcats went for it and Anthony Ruffin intercepted a pass in the end zone ending the threat.
Ja'Khi Douglas ended the ensuing drive with a 1-yard touchdown run increasing the Terrebonne lead to 20-12 with 5:18 in the third quarter.
The Tigers played ball control from there and scored a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter. A 50-yard run by Douglas set up a 13-yard touchdown run by Chaz Ward. Ward scored again at the 1:43 mark with a powerful tackle-breaking 7-yard run to close the scoring.
“We just didn't finish,” said East St. John coach Brandon Brown.”We talked about it all week, we knew the type of defense they were we couldn't be behind the chains, we had to stay in front of the chains. When we did that we had a lot of success. We had some bad snaps, some holding penalties some things that got us behind the chains and we knew that because of what they do it would get us in trouble if we stayed behind the chains and that's what happened the entire second half.”
The first half was a different story with the Wildcats striking first with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Sean Shelby to Markel August.
After a pair of Douglas touchdown passes, East St. John cut the lead back to one with a 5-yard touchdown run by Pershing Toney.
The loss drops East St. John to 2-5 overall 1-3 in District 7-5A.
“We're a play of two away from being very successful, it's not over,” said coach Brown. “We're a couple of plays away from being a very good football team. At this point we just got to be positive. We've got to coach them up and continue to work hard. They can't see me fold so I'm going to be positive about it, continue to work, continue to get better, just keep working that's it.”
As for Terrebonne, the win continues what has been an unblemished season.
“These kids got a lot of goals behind them they started three years ago for our seniors and they worked their tails off for three years and it's really showing,” said Hill. “There's been a lot of adversity we've gone through and they fighting through. We played without one of our better players (Keshawn James) tonight due to injury and they just rose up. It's a team effort, we're not where we want to be yet so it's one game at a time and that's the way their going to keep playing it and we're just going to make sure it stays that way. We're happy to be where we are.”
Douglas finished with 108 yards rushing, 190 yards passing and accounted for three touchdowns.
His leadership qualities were on display after the game as well when he stayed true to Coach Hill's “one game at a time” philosophy” when asked if Terrebonne had circled a week No.10 date with District 7-5A co-leaders Destrehan.
“No, we're going to focus on all three of the games,” said Douglas. “We're going to take these last three games (home vs Central Lafourche, home vs H.L. Bourgeois, at Destrehan) one-by-one. These last three games, they're all good teams. So these last three games we've got to come out and play hard.”