Hanson Tigers drop league to Central Catholic Eagles
In a classic tale of two halves, the Central Catholic Eagles rallied for three second half touchdowns to earn a 28-18 District 7A win over the Hanson Tigers Friday at McCloskey Field.
Hanson’s defensive unit rose to the occasion of stopping long-time parish rival Central Catholic in the first half by forcing six turnovers, including three interceptions along with a fumble recovery.
The Tigers’ dream of knocking off Central Catholic for the first time in over 20 years were dashed in the second half. Despite taking an 18-7 advantage in the third quarter, Central Catholic managed to gain control in the second half, pulling out the comeback 28-18 win.
Former HMS player and coach David Furher said he was proud of his team.
“I told them I was very proud of them for fighting through it,” Furher said. “We knew Hanson would come out and play very hard and give us everything they had. Hat’s off to them for giving us the giving us a great fight. I just wish we wouldn’t keep shooting ourselves in the foot. I told the guys we played with a lot of heart and we didn’t get down on ourselves.”
HMS Coach Brett Blakely told his club not to let the loss define our season.
“They played more physical with us and we turned the ball over a couple of times,” he said. It’s a rivalry game that you got into thinking you have a chance to win, but if the chips don’t fall your way, it hurts, but we can’t let this loss define out season.”
Hanson, currently ranked third in the District 7-A standings, slipped to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in league play behind front runner Vermilion Catholic and Highland Baptist.
Central Catholic needed the comeback win over Hanson to post its first win of the season, going 1-5 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Early in Friday’s contest, HMS’ Clint Young Jr. pilfered a screen pass at the 3-yard line, setting up the Tigers’ offense with a golden opportunity.
HMS quickly cashed in on the gift as Jeff Soulis hit paydirt from the 2-yard line, giving HMS a 6-0 lead with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter.
Hanson’s Cameron Stovall pounced on a Central Catholic fumble, handing the Tigers a first down deep in Eagle territory.
On first down, HMS quarterback Bo Barrilleaux went to the air to send the Tigers ahead by a 12-0 margin.
Barrilleaux opened the scoring drive with seven-yard pass to Royce Norton before finding Jacob Stewart for six yard, bringing the ball to rest on the four-yard line. Barrilleaux fired a strike to Stewart in the endzone, helping the Tigers build a 12-0 advantage with 4:31 left before halftime.
Hanson’s Austin Luke gave the Tigers another opportunity with an interception with 2:35 remaining in the half.
Central Catholic’s Jalen Johnson pilfered a pass and raced 55 yards for a touchdown as the Eagles trimmed Hanson’s lead to 12-7 with two minutes blinking before the half.
Hanson regained control in the third quarter on a nifty scoring march featuring the running of Soulis on consecutive plays. LeBlanc made good on runs of 15, 1, 21, 1 and 5 yards setting the Tigers up with a first-and-10 from the 25.
One play later, Barrilleaux and Beau LeBlanc hooked up on a 25-yard scoring strike to hand the Tigers an 18-7 advantage.
A short time later, Hanson’s linebacker Kameron Clements plucked a pass out of thin air giving HMS another chance only to turn the ball back to Central Catholic four plays later at the 25.
With 2:25 showing in the third quarter, Central Catholic’s Stefano Guarisco made his presence, having his number called on six consecutive plays, including a four-yard touchdown. Keying the drive was Guarisco’s 37-yard scamper bringing the ball to rest at the Tigers’ 4. Matthew Barbier kicked the extra point as the Eagles trailed Hanson by a score of 18-14 with 2:26 left in the third quarter.
Early in the fourth quarter, Guarisco scored on a 5-yard run before Barbier booted the extra point, giving the Eagles a 21-18 advantage with 8:26 showing on the clock.
Guarisco set up the Eagles’ final score when he returned an interception down to the Tigers’ 35-yard line. Five plays later, Central Catholic’s Nicholas Case fired a 28-yard aeriel strike to Tyler Hoffpauir as CCHS secured a 28-18 cushion.
Hanson (4-2, 2-1) will travel to face Gueydan on Friday in District 7-A action.