The Port Allen Pelicans lost to Parkview’s Eagles 23-16 in a hard fought battle during Port Allen’s Senior Night last Friday in a game that was unexpectedly close to most in attendance.
“I was extremely proud of our kids,” said Head Coach Guy Blanchard. “I told them in the beginning that I didn’t want any turnovers, I didn’t want stupid penalties, and I didn’t want them to quit. They gave me all three. They battled, stayed in, and never quit believing they could win.”
The Pelicans’ MVP of the week, Charles George, who had seven solo tackles - two for loss - and an assisted tackle, said the team really came together and worked hard.
“We practiced so hard and it showed on the field,” George said “I think it was a pretty evenly matched game, but Parkview pulled it out in the end.”
Parkview Baptist took advantage of Port Allen’s slow start to the game, scoring on their first two drives.
The Eagles’ first score came just two minutes into the game on an 11 yard touchdown. Once Parkview took control of the ball again, they pushed down the field and rushed the final nine yards into the end zone.
After a fumble by Port Allen sophomore running back DeMarcus Franklin was recovered by Parkview Baptist at the Eagles 41 yard line, the Pels’ defense tightened up, not allowing another first half score.
As the stagnant Pels’ offense was unable to make a push for a score, the defense stopped the Eagles’ scoring attacks, halting several drives with tackles by Marcus Keyes and Morris Miller, an interception by Jarious Robertson, a tackle by Lorenzo Osborne and a tackle of Parkview’s quarterback by Terrione Thomas.
With a minute left in the half, the Pels made a valiant effort for a score with a Alex Hebert pass to Zaylon Bellamy bringing the Pels to midfield, followed by a 16 yard rush for a first down by Kevin Ransom. However, time ran out before Port Allen could drive any further and the half came to a close with the Eagles leading 13-0.
“At halftime, we made adjustments to slow down what [Parkview was] doing,” said Blanchard. “It worked well for us. We gave ourselves a chance, and that was the most important thing. We still made too many errors, but we didn’t get ourselves out of the game before it started.”
Despite a Pelican fumble at the start of the second half that was recovered by the Eagles, Charles George helped keep Parkview out of the end zone with a clutch tackle.
“It means a lot to me to be respected as a leader on the team,” George said of his role on the team.
On the fourth down, Parkview kicked a field goal from the 14 yard line, just barely making it after hitting the upright, increasing the Eagles’ lead to 16-0.
After an Hebert pass was intercepted, Parkview was able to score with a 35 yard run down the right side of the field as the Eagles continued their blanking of the Pels 23-0.
But the Pelicans came back fighting in the fourth quarter beginning with a 63 yard pass from Franklin to Lorenzo Osborne for a touchdown.
On Port Allen next possession, Hebert connected with Telson Allen to score a touchdown with 2:47 remaining in the game.
Though momentum began shifting in favor of the Pels, it was too late as the Pels were unable to score again, with Parkview ending the game on top 23-16.
“I’m really proud of this senior group,” said Blanchard. “They have come through a lot of adversity. I’m extremely proud how they stayed together; they came through it all like young men and handled themselves like I expected them to.”
The group of seniors, who were recognized during the special Senior Night, agree that they have a special bond as leaders on the team and are grateful for each other and their time with the team.
“It’s kind of sad,” said senior Charles George. “I grew up with these guys. It’s been a good experience to see everyone grow into the people they are. There’s a brotherly bond we have that we wouldn’t have if it weren’t for the sports we have played together here.”