Port Allen was able to do something it hadn’t done in three years — beat district foe Dunham.
The Pelicans executed a two-point conversion and a fake punt late in the fourth quarter to edge Dunham 22-21 at Dunham Stadium Friday night.
“It was things that we worked on all year long and we just looked for the right moment to make sure we executed those plays,” said Port Allen head coach Don Gibson. “I have to give props to coach Antoine (Washington) who’s our special teams coordinator. He was in charge of both of those plays. Kudos to him, but more importantly great job by the kids going out there and executing it.”
Port Allen (5-1, 3-0) got on the board early in the second quarter thanks to Jacoby Howard’s 13-yard touchdown pass to Darius Jarrett on a wide receiver screen.
Gabe Hitzman put Dunham ahead 7-6 with less than three minutes left before halftime on a 34-yard touchdown run.
Following a Dunham fumble, Port Allen took over on the Tiger 13-yard line. Two plays later, Jordan Antoine scored on a 9-yard run. His two-point conversion run gave the Pelicans a 14-7 lead.
Antoine led the Port Allen rushing attack with 81 yards on 16 attempts with a touchdown.
After a short kickoff gave Dunham good field position, Hayden Hand connected with Matthew Weiner on a 19-yard touchdown pass that tied things up.
Jake Ledet’s 1-yard score put the Tigers up 21-14 with 9:24 remaining. He finished the night with 91 yards on 17 attempts. He had a 30-yard run that set up the one-yard plunge.
Howard answered quickly with a 49-yard touchdown run. After the score, Port Allen coach Don Gibson signed off on a two-point try, which resulted in Howard getting in on a run to the right side.
Port Allen looked to ice the game leading 22-21 with under three minutes left to play. Facing a fourth down, the Pelicans lined up to punt, but instead of punting, Jarrett threw the ball down the sideline to Jeremiah Dehon for a 25-yard gain that clinched the win.
““Those plays were certainly momentum type plays,” Dunham coach Neil Weiner said of the pair of Port Allen special teams plays. “They got us on the fake punt. I think we had three turnovers. It’s tough to win football games when you turn it over. Credit to them, coach Gibson’s done a great job. I think this is his fourth season there. He’s been working hard and getting those guys playing hard, so credit goes to them.”
Howard completed 9-of-12 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. He was Port Allen’s second leading rusher with 67 yards on 17 attempts with a score.
“Those guys (Dunham) came out and played a heck of a football game,” Gibson said. “It’s always a tough game when we play them. It’s been three years trying to beat them, we finally got over the hump. We talked about it. We want to put ourselves in a situation where we have a chance to play for a district championship and next week, we have that opportunity.”