Lightning puts damper on exhibition


South Terrebonne's Justin Johnson (3) finds some running room as Terrebonne's Storm Chauvin (10) pursues on Friday. (Photo by Chris Heller/Staff)


BOURG — Two of the teams in the Terrebonne Parish Jamboree got to play close to one half of exhibition football on Friday night at South Terrebonne Memorial Stadium, while the other two teams will have to wait until the games count next week to get on the field.

Lightning strikes and an ensuing deluge canceled the remainder of the event with 2:07 left in the first half of Game 1 between South Terrebonne and Terrebonne with the Gators leading 14-7.

After the cancellation of the rest of the first game, officials from H.L. Bourgeois and Ellender tried to wait the rain and lightning moved out to start the second of what was supposed to be two games of two 20-minute halves, but a decision to cancel the rest event was made after there seemed to be no end to the inclement weather in site.

"We waited around and waited around, and we even went out for warmups. Their guys were pumped up, and our guys were excited, but the weather just didn't cooperate," Braves coach Ben Powell said. "You always want to get that dress rehearsal in (before Week 1). For us, the issue was lightning. Both schools were willing to go in the rain, but we just couldn't see the lightning passing anytime soon, so they decided to call it."

Before the rain started in the first game, South Terrebonne scored on its second play from scrimmage to open the jamboree after Justin Johnson went 57 yards around the right side of the Gators offensive line, and Matt Benoit added the point after for a 7-0 South Terrebonne lead 50 seconds in.

After a fumble recovery by South Terrebonne's Robert Conkin, the Gators went 54 yards in six plays and capped the drive with a 3-yard run, again to the right behind guard Adam Zeipke and tackle Dyon Perque, by Johnson (three carries, 80 yards, two touchdowns).

"That was on purpose," Gators coach Richard Curlin said of running behind the right side of the line.

A 40-yard pass from James LeBlanc to Kurt Arceneaux setup the score, and after Benoit's point after, the Gators led 14-0 with 9:45 left in the first half.

"I thought we did some positive things on offense," Curlin said. "Defensively, I didn't think we tackled as well as we wanted to. We have to work on that. With the field conditions like they were, what can you say?"

Terrebonne then responded with a six-play scoring drive of its own that ended when DeShaun Diggs went 5 yards into the end zone from the left side, and Travis Manor hit the point after to cut the South Terrebonne lead to 14-7 with 7:18 left in the first half.

A 53-yard run by Terrebonne quarterback Colby Stewart (four carries, 78 yards) and an 18-yard run by Diggs (six carries, 26 yards, touchdown) keyed the drive.

"I was displeased with the way we came out with the turnovers and the mistakes and the penalties (five for 55 yards)," Terrebonne coach Gary Hill said. "We have to clean that stuff up, but I was pleased with the way we responded. We learned a little bit, and did some things better than we did last week."

Faron Richard next picked off a pass for Terrebonne and returned it deep into Gators territory, but a block in the back on the return by Richard returned the ball to the spot of the interception.

The Tigers then drove to the South Terrebonne 38-yard line before the first lightning strike forced officials to clear the field at 7:03 p.m. and with 2:07 showing on the first-half clock.

The rain began coming down hard at 7:23 p.m. and never stopped before the event was canceled at around 8:30 p.m.

"I just hope we can get this season in," Hill said. "We have any more nights like this, it's going to be tough."

Curlin said he was happy to get at least a little bit of live action in.

"Obviously we would have liked to have seen a little bit more from some of the other kids, but we got a little bit on film," Curlin said. "We will see what we can get from it heading into next week."