Sun Times Editor
A focused bunch of Lake Arthur Tigers, still smarting from last week’s loss to Iota, played host to the Delcambre High School Panthers this past Wednesday evening, September 10, 2008 in the friendly confines of Jack Doland Stadium in Lake Arthur and emerged victorious by a final score of 41-26.
The game was played on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. due to the threatening presence of Hurricane Ike, which was lurking off the Louisiana coast, posing a threat to the Acadiana area.
The Tigers won the opening toss and elected to defer until the second half. Captains for the contest for the Tigers were Josh Turner and Kyle Johnson.
The Panthers received the opening kickoff and were quickly penned at their own 15-yard-line.
Three unsuccessful plays forced Delcambre to punt, and Tiger running back returned the kick to the Panther 39.
A sweep by Robinson around right end picked up a Tiger first down at the Panther 26 with 9:18 left in the opening stanza.
Carries by Robinson, Aaron Bertrand, and Colby Lavergne picked up two more first downs, setting up a first and goal at the Panther three.
Robinson broke the scoring ice two plays later, blowing around right end behind good blocking for a Tiger touchdown. After Bertrand kicked the extra point, the Tigers led 7-0 with 8:01 left in the first quarter.
The Panthers returned the kickoff to their own 31, but a jarring hit on first down by a Tiger defensive back caused a Panther running back to cough up the football, which was recovered by Lake Arthur at the Delcambre 26.
Facing a fourth down and four at their 20, Robinson swept right end again and nabbed a Tiger first down at the Delcambre 16.
Carries by Lavergne, Bertrand and Robinson reached the 10, and on fourth down, Robinson followed his offensive line around right end to the five yard line for a Tiger first and goal.
Bertrand then used the old quarterback sneak to split the linebackers and waltz into the end zone for the second Tiger touchdown with 3:53 remaining in the first period.
Bertrand again supplied the PAT kick, giving the home team a 14-0 lead.
Delcambre would make things interesting just moments later from their own 20, as they converted a screen pass that resulted in an electrifying 80-yard touchdown reception, cutting the Tiger lead to 14-6 with 2:30 left in the first stanza.
The Tigers went to the airways on the ensuing possession, as Bertrand found receiver Jacob Martin over the middle on a quick post for 17 yards and a first down at the Delcambre 48.
But the Tigers fumbled on the very next play, giving the Panthers the pigskin and good field position near midfield at the 1:15 mark.
Delcambre then went to the air, finding an open receiver, who carried the football all the way to the Tiger three as the first period finally came to and end.
On the first play of the second period, the Panthers used a quarterback sneak of their own for their second touchdown, cutting the Tiger lead to 14-12 with 11:56 left in the first half.
Lake Arthur’s defense kept the score at that margin, as the Panthers’ try for the two-point conversion pass was denied.
The Tigers returned the kickoff to their own 43, avoiding disaster by recovering their own fumble.
But the Tigers would be stopped on downs just inside Delcambre territory, as the visiting fans went wild.
The shouting stopped one play later, as the Tigers recovered another Panther fumble at the Delcambre 49 with 9:42 left in the first half.
Lake Arthur used a punishing ground attack to pummel the Panthers, moving the football to the Delcambre one.
Robinson did the honors, bulling his way into Panther paydirt for the third Lake Arthur touchdown.
The two point conversion run was no good, but the Tigers had breathing room, leading 20-12 at the 6:36 mark.
Delcambre returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 30, but the rough and tough Tiger defense forced a Panther punt after three plays from scrimmage.
Robinson fielded the punt at his own 42, shed tacklers, and wove his way some 58 yards for another Tiger touchdown.
An unsportsmanlike penalty was tossed against Delcambre, moving the football to the one for the PAT conversion. Ben Hargrave ran the ball in from that point, as Lake Arthur extended its lead to 28-12 with 5:23 left in the half.
Delcambre would play Santa Claus again just seconds later, as they put the ball on the turf again and Tiger Adam Gauthier recovered at the Panther 29.
From that spot, Tiger quarterback Bertrand would drop back and find receiver Martin on a quick post over the middle for a Tiger touchdown pass, as the stunned Panthers were in disbelief.
Bertrand added the PAT kick, and Lake Arthur was cruising, leading 35-12 with 5:06 left in the half.
The Panthers would then take the football and drive all the way to the Tiger 10, but the staunch Lake Arthur defense would hold at that spot, as the half ended at 35-12.
Things would get interesting in the third period, as Delcambre rallied after a blocked punt that resulted in a five-yard touchdown run and a two point conversion, cutting the lead to just 35-20 with 3:41 left in the third.
But Robinson would ice the game for Lake Arthur in the fourth period, cracking through defenders for a two-yard touchdown run, as the Tigers increased their lead to 41-20.
The PAT kick was no good, but Lake Arthur led by three touchdowns with just two minutes remaining.
Delcambre would add a meaningless touchdown before the game ended, but the Tigers took their first victory of the season by a final score of 41-26.
The Tiger offensive line did a great job of blocking for their running backs, as Auldon Robinson ran for over 120 yards for Lake Arthur on the evening.
The Tiger defense bent at times, but also played inspired football, stopping Delcambre twice inside the red zone without allowing points.
Tiger special teams also played well, as evidenced by Robinson’s 58-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Lake Arthur also kicked well throughout the contest, constantly putting Delcambre deep in their own territory.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 1-1 on the season, while the Panthers limped back to Delcambre with a mark of 1-1.