Tigers swat Kinder Yellow Jackets in district 34-20
By MIKE RIZZUTO
Sun Times Editor
The Lake Arthur Fighting Tigers will be playing in a very big game in two weeks, one that could bring a long-awaited District 5-2A Championship to Tiger Town.
The game against the Welsh Greyhounds for all the marbles was made possible this past Friday evening, October 24, 2008 in Kinder, as the Tigers rolled out to a big lead and coasted for the 34-20 league win.
“We played hard, but it wasn’t our best game of the season,” Lake Arthur head football coach Chad Lavergne stated after the contest. “We left the ball on the ground too much and, at times, did a poor job of tackling.
“We’ll have to do a better job to keep winning, but it’s nice to be undefeated in district this late in the season,” Lavergne said. “We have a chance to accomplish one of our team goals (winning district) this season. It’s been a long time since we’ve been in this position, so we’ll be working hard to eliminate our mistakes to become a better football team.”
The Tigers won the coin toss to open the contest and decided to defer to the second half, as Kinder received the kickoff.
The Yellow Jackets returned the kick to their own 32-yard-line, but were driven back to their 28 by the fired-up Tiger defense.
Kinder’s punt was partially blocked by the Tigers, who took over at the Yellow Jacket 47.
Three carries by senior running back Jamal Jones picked up a Tiger first down at the Kinder 34 with 9:14 left in the first quarter.
But the Tiger drive stalled and Kinder regained possession of the football after a Duane Watkins punt was downed at the seven-yard-line.
Lake Arthur’s defense would drive Kinder back two yards, and a poor punt was returned by Aulden Robinson to the Yellow Jacket 27.
After a short gain on first down, Jones ripped off good yardage through the middle for a Tiger first down at the Kinder 10.
Two plays later, Jones danced over right guard from eight yards out for the Tiger touchdown with 3:20 left, giving Lake Arthur a 6-0 lead.
Robinson swept right end for the two-point conversion, and Lake Arthur led 8-0 seconds later.
Kinder would drive the football down the field, but the Tiger defense would deny any scoring, turning the football over on downs at the Lake Arthur 17 as the first quarter came to an end.
Tiger quarterback Colby Lavergne would then complete a swing pass to Nick Klein, who cradled the ball into his hands and scampered 52 yards to the Kinder 11.
After an offsides penalty moved the ball to the Yellow Jacket six, Robinson swept right end again for the second Tiger touchdown at the 11:01 mark.
The two-point conversion run was stopped short, but the visiting Tigers were up and running with a 14-0 advantage.
Later in the quarter, Coach Lavergne would roll the dice from his own 24, faking a punt, as Aaron Bertrand lugged the pigskin 23 yards off right tackle to the Lake Arthur 47-yard line for a Tiger first down with 5:29 left.
A completed pass to Jacob Martin gave the Tigers a first down at the Kinder 37 on a quick slant pattern with 4:30 remaining.
Facing a fourth and six from his 33, Lavergne worked the option for 10 yards to the Kinder 23 for another Tiger first down with 2:54 remaining.
On the very next play, Lavergne found Martin on a flag route on the left side of the formation, and the junior hauled the pass in and ran unmolested into Kinder paydirt for a 23-yard Tiger touchdown.
The two-point conversion run was short, but Lake Arthur led 20-0 with 2:49 left in the half.
Kinder would receive the kickoff and march 83 yards for a touchdown, scoring on the last play of the first half on a 37-yard pass from Blake Trahan to Derek Norman down the right sideline, as the Tiger coaches verbally voiced their extreme displeasure.
The PAT run was stopped short, but the Tigers’ lead had been cut to 20-6 at the half.
Robinson started the third period off like a rocket for the Tigers, taking in the Kinder kickoff at his own 10, bursting through the middle, cutting to his left, and racing all the way to the Kinder one, where he fumbled the football.
Fortunately, there were no Kinder players near him, so Robinson fell on the football in the end zone for a Tiger touchdown and a 26-6 lead.
Jones ripped through Yellow Jacket defenders for the two-point conversion run, and Lake Arthur led 28-6 with 11:54 left in the third stanza.
Kinder would counter with 1:58 left in the stanza, as running back Rodney Prosper capped a Yellow Jacket drive with a seven-yard touchdown run.
The PAT failed, but the third quarter ended with Lake Arthur leading by a score of 28-12.
After an exchange of possessions, Lake Arthur’s Josh Savage would recover a fumble near midfield to keep a drive going.
After a 22-yard pass reception from Lavergne to Josh Turner, the Tigers would advance to the Yellow Jacket 12.
Lavergne then found Jones running an out route to the right for another Tiger touchdown, as Lake Arthur took a commanding 34-12 lead.
The two-point conversion run was denied, but the Tigers led by 22 with 9:57 left in the contest.
Kinder would add a meaningless score later in the period, as Norman scored on a 10-yard pass from Trahan, with Trahan netting the two-point conversion run.
But the Tigers would run the clock out on the home team, taking a knee three consecutive times to win the contest 34-20 to remain unbeaten in District 5-2A play.
The Tigers racked up 291 yards in total offense, with 132 coming on the ground and 159 via the air.
Jones led the Tigers with 62 yards on 17 carries, while Robinson toted the pigskin six times for 26 markers. Aaron Bertrand and Lavergne added 25 and 19 yards respectively for Lake Arthur.
Prosper was the leading rusher for Kinder with 94 yards on 24 carries.
Lavergne connected on seven of 13 passes for 153 yards, as Nick Klein caught three for 91 yards, while Turner added two for 31 and Martin two for 37 and a score.
Derek Norman had six catches for 122 yards for Kinder.
Lake Arthur fumbled four times, losing two, while Kinder dropped the football four times, recovering all but one.
The Tigers were penalized six times for 50 yards, while Kinder was flagged but once for five.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 4-4 and 2-0 in district, while Kinder fell to 1-5 and 0-3.