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Thibodaux battles Gators, weather in scrimmage


South Terrebonne's Justin Johnson (3) looks for running room as Thibodaux's Andy Brown (27) pursues in Friday's scrimmage. (Photo by Chris Heller/Staff)


No team ever claims victory in a scrimmage, but there was one opponent the Thibodaux Tigers and South Terrebonne Gators couldn't defeat on Friday — the weather.

About 90 minutes into the controlled scrimmage, rain clouds surrounded Tiger Stadium and lightning lit up the sky.

Both Thibodaux coach Chris Dugas and South Terrebonne coach Richard Curlin thought it was best to end the scrimmage due to the weather.

Even though there was no score kept on the scoreboard, Thibodaux got into the end zone more than South Terrebonne and won the scrimmage, 27-14.

The scrimmage was also going to include goal-line work and a 12-minute live quarter, but the weather put an end to that.

"We would've loved to finished the live period for sure. Just to get that game action stuff in and do some punting too," Dugas said. "I was just happy to see our kids respond like they did. We got hit in the mouth a bit and our kids responded and I was happy with that."

Thibodaux opened the scrimmage on offense, and on its second set of downs, starting from the 30, the Tigers put together a seven-play drive that led to the first score.

Quarterback Wesley Lassaire heaved an arching pass that allowed Jason Richard to run underneath the ball for a 41-yard touchdown reception. Mason Richard added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

On the Gators' first possession, it was a big play from Justin Johnson that tied the game.

He got the corner on a sweep and used a stiff arm to break loose on a 59-yard scoring run. Matt Benoit added the extra point for a 7-7 score.

The Gators retained possession and this time put together a 12-play drive that ended in a 6-yard scoring run by Channing Champagne. Once again, Benoit added the extra point for a 14-7 lead.

From that point on, it was all Thibodaux.

The Tigers made it a 14-13 score when Donta Johnson got into the end zone on a 6-yard run. The extra point was no good.

Donta Johnson gave Thibodaux a 20-14 lead when he scored on a 1-yard run. Blaize Rodrigue added the extra point.

The final touchdown came when Richard scored on a 9-yard run, and with the extra point, the score became 27-14.

South Terrebonne coach Richard Curlin said that he was glad to get his team on a dry field for a change. The Gators have practiced in the school's gym due to rain putting them behind in their conditioning.

"We knew we were going to look a little ragged. We've been in the gym, and we've been getting dumped on with the rain," Curlin said. "Coming here, I couldn't believe the condition of their field and just how dry it was. (The rain) is holding us back right now in our conditioning. We are behind and we knew that coming in. I told their coaches that we are about as ragged as we ever been and we had some young guys that needed the work.

"They had the lightning meter, and it was within 16 miles. As much as we needed the work, it wasn't worth dieing over."

Dugas said his team started slow, but as the scrimmage went on he was pleased with his team's execution, especially the perimeter blocking that led to big runs.

"I just thought it was nice to play someone besides ourselves. We've been banging on each other. We came out a little tentative, but once we settled in, I was pleased," Dugas said. "Our receivers are tenacious with blocking, and all our skill people had to start for us last year as sophomores and juniors. They have that experience and things are going well for us."