Strange third-quarter play propels Terriers to win

Gage Corte (23) of Vandebilt fights to break the tackle of E.D. White's Hunner Caballero (34) as Tyler Dean (64) trails the play Friday night at Buddy Marcello Stadium in Houma. The Terriers won, 27-9. (Photo by Chris Heller/Staff)

Vandebilt Catholic coach Brad Villavaso stresses the importance of pinning teams inside their 20-yard line on kickoffs.

That was especially easy for the Terriers on Friday night in the third quarter against rival E.D. White Catholic.

After a Vandebilt touchdown that put them up by seven points late in the third quarter, the Cardinals were flagged for three personal fouls which allowed the Terriers to kick off from the E.D. White 15-yard line.

The Terriers (1-0) tried an onsides kick, but the Cardinals (0-1) recovered the ball on the 1-yard line.

Then came a safety when E.D. White was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone, and that was all the distance the Terriers needed as they rolled to a 27-9 nondistrict victory at Buddy Marcello Stadium with the help of 17 third-quarter points after a 3-3 tie at halftime.

The game was originally a home game for E.D. White, but because weather caused a delay in the installation of the school's new turf football field, it was moved to Houma. The Cardinals wore home red and the Terriers wore visitors' white.

"Every year this game is a battle," Villavaso said. "You could see that in the first half. I expected the same in the second half, but some things went our way, and we did enough to win the game. We got some good breaks, but our guys played hard and strained their bodies. I'm proud of the effort."

Those three unsportsmanlike penalties on that touchdown led to the ejection of one E.D. White player. The Cardinals had seven 15-yard penalties and 13 overall for 161 yards and had a touchdown and safety called back because of penalties in the first half.

"When they kick off from the 15-yard line, you are in a hole, and we never recovered," Cardinals coach Kyle Lasseigne said. "It was a complete loss of composure. We put ourselves in bad positions. If we don't do that stuff, I think it's competitive the whole second half, and we may have a chance to win in the end."

But instead, after a 6-yard touchdown run by Jordan Bergeron (Patrick Watson point after) put the Terriers up 10-3 with 4:31 to go in the third quarter after a muffed punt, the Terriers got the safety and added a 1-yard touchdown run by Bergeron with 2:43 left in the third quarter and a two-point conversion from David Yancey, who ran the ball in after mishandling the snap.

That 20-3 lead was too much for E.D. White (five first downs, 130 yards total, 88 rushing) to overcome.

Vandebilt (14 first downs, 329 yards, 155 rushing) went ahead 27-3 with 10:53 to go in the game on a Tristan Guillory 1-yard touchdown run, and E.D. White added a touchdown later on a 1-yard dive by Darius Charles (13 carries, 46 yards) for the 27-9 final.

Terriers quarterback Bailey Pere was 11-of-19 for 174 yards in the air and added 68 yards on the ground.

"We have to throw the ball well and balance the offense, and we did that. We don't have a guy that can go 80 (yards) this year," Villavaso said. "We did everything we needed to do to win the game."

Pere hit Seth Popay with six passes for 124 yards, including a couple that helped setup touchdowns.

"It feels good to be a senior and beat them," Popay said of E.D. White. "We just had to step it up. We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game and there would be trash talking. You just have to try and avoid that and play the game."

Lasseigne said he did not agree with a few of the things that took place on the field on Friday night.

"There were many times that things happened that I did not agree with," Lasseigne said. "I was disheartened, and I wanted to react, but I knew it would cost my football team. Unfortunately some of my players thought it was OK to react. I think some of them don't understand the team concept yet. If we hadn't done that stuff, I really think we would have had a chance."

E.D. White's Rene Thibodaux (46 yards with 6:19 to go in the first quarter) and Vandebilt's Patrick Watson (23 yards with 4:04 left in the second quarter) each hit field goals in the first half for the 3-3 halftime tie.

Bergeron added two interceptions on the night off Cardinals sophomore quarterback Benjamin Sposito (4-of-14, 42 yards, 2 INTs) and started the game with a 61-yard kickoff return for the Terriers.

E.D. White's Spencer Folse left the game with a dislocated elbow after the muffed punt that led to the first touchdown of the third quarter for the Terriers, who were penalized 10 times for 105 yards, which included four personal fouls.

Lasseigne said via text message late Friday night that Folse is expected to return at some point this season.