LIVONIA – The Brusly Panthers got a head start on the road to victory Friday night – until they hit a roadblock.
The obstacle came in the form of Livonia running back Russell Faerris, who scored two touchdowns to give the Wildcats a 13-12 come-from-behind win at Glen Matherne Stadium.
The loss marked the first of the season for the Panthers, who dropped to 4-1. Livonia remained unbeaten after five games.
“We just didn’t play well,” Brusly coach Erik Willis said. “We made some critical mistakes out there that cost us the game, and the blame starts with the coaches. We didn’t do our jobs.”
The matchup was one of the most highly anticipated games of the week, largely because of the triple-overtime thriller in last year’s contest.
The tight battle lived up to the expectations for Livonia head coach David Brewerton.
“Erik Willis did an unbelievable job with those guys and they just hit us in the mouth,” Livonia coach David Brewerton said. “People said all season we weren’t physical, so we challenged our guys to prove it tonight.” The heartbreaker did nothing to harm Brusly’s ranking in the Louisiana Sportswriters Association Class 3A Top 10 poll. In fact, it helped them.
Brusly inched from No. 9 to No. 8 in the polls. Livonia held steady at No. 5, while Parkview Baptist kept the top spot.
Livonia scratched a 12-0 Panther lead to take the victory after a steady rainfall in the first half of play.
BHS quarterback Jay Christophe completed 7 of 19 passes for 112 yards and one interception.
Christophe gave Brusly the opening lead at the 8:03 mark when he plunged into the end zone from the 2-yard line. His TD capped a 67-yard drive that included his 29-yard pass completion to Terrance West that gave the Panthers a first-and-goal.
The Panthers struck again later in the first quarter, when Christophe scored on a 1-yard sneak. The second TD came off an 11-play, 50-yard drive.
An extra-point kick failed on first TD, while the Panthers missed a two-point conversion on the next score.
Those two miscues came back to haunt the Panthers when Livonia pulled itself together.
Farris scored his first TD on a 42-yard scamper with 7:32 left in the second quarter.
A botched point-after kick left the Panthers ahead 12-6 at halftime.
Livonia wasted little time with its comeback in the second half. Farris struck once more, this time on a 59-yard dash that tied the score 12-12.
An extra-point kick by Amadeo Carbjal sealed the Livonia victory.
Farris finished the night with 137 yards on 12 carries.
The Wildcat defense held Brusly to 125 yards rushing. The Panthers lost 75 yard on penalties.
Brusly begins District 8-3A action Friday at E.D. White.
Livonia visits No. 8-ranked Rayne for the start of the District 6-3A slate.