For the second consecutive week, Port Allen built a double-digit lead, but unlike in Week 1, the Pelicans closed the deal.
Port Allen had a 16-point lead in the third quarter and held on for a 24-20 win over Donaldsonville in the team’s home opener Friday night at Guy Otwell Stadium.
“I’m proud of the guys just finding that grit, that determination when you know shades of last week could have stayed in their mind,” said Port Allen coach Don Gibson. “I think the most important thing is the guys found a way to win.”
The Pelicans got on the board late in the first quarter on Landon Jones’ 8-yard touchdown run. A failed 2-point conversion attempt put the score at 6-0.
Donaldsonville responded with a 9-yard touchdown run. The Tigers took a lead following a 2-point conversion pass.
Port Allen took the lead with 4:35 seconds left in the first half on defensive lineman Braylon White’s 1-yard touchdown run. The Pels led 12-8 at halftime.
Donaldsonville fumbled the kickoff on its first possession. Port Allen capitalized on that mistake a few plays later on White’s second touchdown, this one from two yards out.
On the ensuing kickoff, Port Allen recovered another Donaldsonville fumble. Darius Harris connected with Jarius Wright for a 40-yard touchdown that put the Pelicans ahead 24-8 with 8:11 left in the third quarter.
Donaldsonville countered with two long touchdown plays, a 75-yard run and a 60-yard pass to trim the deficit to 24-20.
The Tigers had the ball on its own 24 with 2:05 left looking to take the lead. The Pelican defense earned a stop on fourth down with 25 seconds left to clinch the win.
Jones led Port Allen with 66 yards rushing on 17 attempts before leaving the game in the second half with a shoulder injury. Harris and Wright contributed with 61 yards and 58 yards rushing respectively.
Harris completed 8-of-16 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. Wright hauled in five receptions for 79 yards and a score.
Despite the win, Port Allen turned the ball over four times, compared to three from Donaldsonville.
“The biggest thing we want to do is capitalize off of those situations like that,” Gibson said. “I’m super proud of the guys that they were able to capitalize of those type of mistakes that other teams make. There are definitely things that we still need to fix and clean up. We got a rash of injuries right now and we’re losing a lot of key players. Hopefully we get healthy here soon, so we have the full team we expect to have.”