Most thought the game might have been over when Brusly entered the fourth quarter ahead 22 points, but West Feliciana had other plans.
The Saints rallied back and cut the deficit to three points late in the fourth but Jared Anderson’s interception with 50 seconds left clinched Brusly’s 33-30 win over West Fel Friday night in Brusly’s home opener.
Anderson’s interception was his second in two weeks.
“That was a huge play to end it right there,” said Brusly coach Hoff Schooler. “We kinda thought it was done and had to come back out and play another set and right there on the sideline for him to make that catch. He had some other times he was in real good coverage all night long against some guys that can run. They’re talented at the skill positions. Hats off to him. He’s had a couple of really good weeks,”
West Feliciana (1-2, 1-1) got on the board first following Archer Pangburn’s 34-yard field goal early in the second quarter.
Brusly (3-0, 2-0) responded on its next possession with Sammy Daquano’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Tucker Smalley who was wide open down the middle of the field.
Twenty-five seconds later, the Saints were celebrating a touchdown following Aeneaus Lemay’s 66-yard run. A successful 2-point conversion gave West Feliciana an 11-6 lead with 8:20 left before halftime.
The Panthers added a pair of scores before halftime. Ryder Rabalais scored on a 1-yard run and as time expired in the first half, Daquano found Klain Popleon in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown to give Brusly a 21-11 halftime lead.
Rabalais and Daquano had touchdown runs of 24 yards and seven yards respectively in the third quarter to boost the Panther lead to 33-11 heading into the fourth.
Daquano threw for 163 yards and two scores and rushed for 52 yards and another score.
Rabalais rushed for 70 yards on 13 attempts with two touchdowns.
The Saints started its fourth quarter run with Rogers’ 60-yard touchdown pass to Lemay. West Feliciana recovered the ensuing onside kick and 34 seconds later, Jaterius Johnson plunged in the end zone from three yards out to cut the Brusly lead to 33-23.
Daquano threw an interception on Brusly’s next drive which set up West Feliciana with good field position. The drive ended with Rogers’ three-yard touchdown run. Pangburn’s extra point put the score at 33-30.
Brusly’s offense had the ball facing a first-and-10 with 1:10 seconds left and West Feliciana having one timeout left. Brusly fumbled the snap and the Saints recovered at midfield, which led to Anderson’s interception 14 seconds later.
“We put ourselves in that situation,” Schooler said. “We should’ve never been in that situation. Up three scores going into the fourth quarter, and we need to find a way to finish. Hats off to them (West Feliciana). They’re a good football team. We knew they wouldn’t quit. Same scenario last year. We were up 21-0 at their place last year and they didn’t quit. They came back and made it a three-point game. We have to learn when it’s good football teams to go and finish the game.”
Smalley led the Brusly receiving corps with three receptions for 55 yards and a score. Rabalais and Craivez Oxley had three receptions apiece for 37 and 26 yards respectively.
Xavier Orgeron and Anderson each had an interception. Jorden Woods and Kari Orgeron had a sack each.
“You gotta commend Brusly. It’s really evident they’re a well-coached team, great attention to detail and they play hard,” said West Feliciana coach Hudson Fuller. “Really proud of our kids and their decision to keep playing hard. We saw a flash in there of what we’re capable of doing if we can consistently put it all together.”
West Feliciana racked up 308 total yards.
“Three-and-0 against three really good football teams,” Schooler said. “Three playoff teams and two of those on the road. You see us getting better along the way. You see us beginning to run the ball and controlling the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and we’re going to need that as we’re building towards Week 11 being as good as we can be. The ability to run the football is what we’re going to need to do.”