Coach Marc Broussard’s Tigers lost three overtime games during a 1-9 season last year, but the 2008 squad broke the streak in the season opener that was squeezed in between Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
Senior running back Bryson Mallery went wide from six yards out on SM’s second play in OT for the winning TD. The Tiger defense had held Franklin scoreless on the Hornets’ four downs.
Mallery finished the night with 86 yards on 11 carries.
The ’Ville overcame five turnovers and seven penalties, using a multi-pronged running attack that rolled up 264 yards. And an electrifying 62-yard kickoff return by Brandon Jacobs in the second quarter helped the Tigers to a 20-12 halftime lead.
Sophomore Lance Charles led all rushers, accounting for 130 yards on 19 totes while scoring two TDs.
The Hornets relied almost exclusively on the pass, operating from a shotgun/spread formation. QB Gregory Boykins completed 10-of-20 tosses for 140 yards and two touchdowns but was picked off three times by the SM secondary and was pressured by an aggressive pass rush late in the contest.
One of Ike’s early rain bands moved over Tiger stadium just as the game began, but the sky cleared early in the second period and the field held up well.
After a scoreless first quarter, Franklin took advantage of a Tiger turnover to strike first. Darius Henry picked off a Jules Tripeaux pass at the FHS 40. A 19-yard completion to Geron Lightfoot and a pass interference penalty helped the Hornets move quickly to the SM 18, and two plays later Boykins hit Henry for the 15-yard TD. Franklin’s try for the two-point conversion failed.
The ’Ville answered with a 58-yard drive that took just five plays. Brandon Jacob rumbled for 12 yards, Charles broke for 21 and Mallery picked up 13 to the FHS 12. Charles took it in from there and Alex Oubre’s PAT kick put SM up 7-6 midway through the period.
The Tigers got a big break when Franklin fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Jacob Sampy recovered for SM at the Hornet 30. But on 3rd-and-10 Tripeaux fumbled, Hornet Earl Charles scooped up the ball and raced 70 yards for a touchdown that left the Tigers stunned. The two-point conversion failed again and Franklin had to settle for a 12-7 lead.
The Tigers got right back into the game when Jacobs took the Franklin kickoff 62 yards to paydirt. Oubre’s kick was wide right but SM was back on top by 13-12 at the 4:16 mark.
An interception by Tiger DB Sheldon Hypolite at the Hornet 38 set up SM’s next score. Tripeaux sparked the drive with a 19-yard ramble and Charles banged in from one yard out for the score with just 16 seconds on the clock and the Tigers enjoyed a 20-12 halftime advantage.
It looked like the Tigers would break the game open early in the third period but a 35-yard touchdown was nullified by a holding penalty and SM stalled at the Franklin 30.
The Hornets then drove 70 yards in 11 plays to close within two just before the quarter ended. On 4th-and-long Boykins connected with
Henry for a 36-yard TD strike but once again the two-point conversion attempt failed.
The Tigers stretched their lead early in the final stanza when Jacob capped a 47-yard drive with a two-yard TD run. Charles had sparked the drive with a 34-yard gallop to the FHS three.
Oubre’s first PAT kick split the uprights, but the Tigers were whistled for illegal procedure and his second attempt was wide, leaving the score at 26-18.
A costly turnover by Jacob at the SM 11 helped Franklin knot the score. Ryan Sorrell raced in for the TD immediately following the fumble and the Hornets finally converted the PAT with Boykins hitting an open Henry for the two-pointer with 7:29 remaining.
Things were looking bad for The ’Ville when Mallery coughed up the ball on SM’s first play from scrimmage following the kickoff at the SM 44.
But the Tiger defense rose to the challenge, sacking Boykins for an 11-yard loss and forcing a FHS punt with 3:25 remaining.
St. Martinville appeared headed for a score as Charles reeled off gains of 10 and 26 yards into Hornet territory and SM ground out three more first downs, advancing the ball to the five as the game clock marked the final seconds of regulation. But Charles fumbled and Franklin took over inside their five. On the final play SM’s Jamar
Vallaire intercepted a Hail Mary Boykins pass as time expired.
St. Martinville won the toss and elected to be on defense first in the overtime period. Boykins’ first two tosses were incomplete and while his third found Ryan Sorrel, the play actually lost one yard. On 4th-and-11 SM’s Isaac Johnson picked off Boykins’ throw and it was the Tigers turn on offense.
Charles gained four on the first play and then Mallery ran wide to reach the end zone for the winning TD.
St. Martinville plays at home again this Friday, hosting the Class 5A Westgate Tigers.