Erath High Jax Thibodeaux (5) fell on the ball in the end zone as time expired. (photo courtesy of Jan Talbot)
Ball bounces Erath's way in final seconds against Crowley
ERATH - The Erath Bobcats had the ball bounce their way Friday night against the Crowley Gents.
The Bobcats were around Crowley’s 5-yard line with nine seconds remaining in the game when the miracle happened.
Erath High’s backup quarterback Ryan Richard, playing in place of the injured Luke LeBlanc, got the ball and went around to try and run it into the end zone. However, he was hit, and the football popped out of hands and rolled into the end zone.
Erath running back Jax Thibodeaux and receiver Lane Toups saw the ball rolling around. Thibodeaux fell on the ball as time expired, and as soon as he fell on it, the EHS crowd erupted.
“I realized when I was on top of the ball, that it was a touchdown,” said Thibodeaux.
Erath head coach Eric LeBlanc never saw Richard fumble.
“Honestly, I never saw the fumble or the recovery,” said Coach LeBlanc. “I saw the sideline judge moving in for the spot, so I was calling our next play. Then I hear everyone going crazy on the sideline and in the stands.”
It was at that point that the head coach figured out his team won.
The Bobcats came from behind to beat Crowley 40-36, and it keeps them in line to win a piece of the District 6-3A title. All they have to do now is beat Abbeville next week, and they would finish tied with Kaplan (3-1 in district) and St. Martinville (3-1) for the title.
Richard, a sophomore, had to get into the game with about three minutes left, when starting quarterback Luke LeBlanc was sidelined after a hard hit by the Gents’ defenders.
On the final drive, Richard threw a pass to Colton Punch in the end zone on the fourth down. Punch missed the ball, and Crowley thought the game was over. But, there was a yellow flag that hit the ground on the play.
The Gents were called for a pass interference on the play that gave Erath the ball and another chance to win the game.
Luke completed 16 out of 29 passes for 360 yards and two scores.
Colton Punch had a great game catching the football. He had seven catches for 196 yards and two TDs.
Ryan Richard also had a nice night catching the ball. He had seven catches for 128 yards.