The Tigers scored on a short return of a muffed kickoff in the first period, got the ball on a muffed punt at the BC 28 to set up another score in the third quarter, and returned two pass interceptions for touchdowns in the final stanza.
The ’Ville also used a slashing running attack to pile up more than 300 yards against the visitors on the way to a victory that improved SM’s record to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in district play. The Gators slipped to 1-4, 1-3.
The Tigers appeared on the way to a really lopsided rout when they struck for three touchdowns in a little more than three minutes early in the game, surging to an 18-0 lead. But Beau Chene rallied for 14 points before intermission to make the halftime score a close 18-14.
St. Martinville added a third period TD to move into a more comfortable 26-14 lead and then struck for the two interception scores to put the game away in the final stanza.
John Olivier led the Tiger ground attack with 186 yards on 12 carries while Bryson Mallery added 59 on 11 totes. Mallery also had runs of 48 and 59 yards nullified by penalties.
The Tigers took the opening kickoff and moved 80 yards in seven plays to light up the scoreboard. Mallery got the first of his two TDs on a six-yard run, but the PAT kick was wide left.
Olivier sparked the second scoring drive with a 61-yard sprint to the BC eight and two plays later Mallery went in from the three. A low snap scuttled the extra point kick.
The Gators muffed the ensuing kickoff and SM’s Jacob Sampy scooped up the ball at the seven and scampered into the end zone for a third touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt was short but SM had an 18-0 lead midway through the first period.
The ’Ville’s defensive unit relaxed a bit and Beau Chene stormed back with its first scoring drive, moving 69 yards for a touchdown. A key play was a 14-yard Paul Richard-to-Devon Richard pass that had another 15 yards tacked on via a personal foul penalty against SM, giving the Gators a first down at the 11. Devon Richard took a pitchout wide and raced to the corner flag for the TD. Miles Thibodeaux added the extra point.
Minutes later the Gators threatened again after SM quarterback Jules Tripeaux fumbled the ball away at the Tiger 16. But the defense held and a 33-yard field goal attempt was wide.
The Gators kept coming, however, and early in the second period Paul Richard connected with a wide open John Henry for a 42-yard TD strike. Thibodeaux’s PAT closed SM’s once big lead to 18-14 and the Gators were definitely back in the game.
St. Martinville moved into Gator territory late in the half with the help of a pass interference penalty but turned the ball over on a fumble at the BC 26.
The Gators took advantage of the break, using a 13-yard run by Michael James and a 22-yard pass from Paul Richard to John Henry to reach the SM 28 with just under a minute remaining. But Richard fumbled on the next play and Jamar Vallaire came up with the recovery to end the threat.
With three time outs remaining the Tigers were able to quickly move all the way to the BC 14 before running out of time, and the halftime score remained at 18-14.
The Gators opened the second half with a 36-yard run by Devon Richard to the SM 29. But three plays later Tiger Quaylen Mitchell grabbed the first of his two interceptions at the SM eight.
St. Martinville moved to its 25 before being forced to punt and then got the ball right back when the bouncing ball grazed a Gator and an alert Tiger fell on the pigskin at the BC 26. Olivier picked up 13 and then carried for another 13 and a TD with 5:51 left in the third period. The Tigers added two points with a Tripeaux-to-Dedrien Francois pass to stretch their lead to 26-14.
After forcing a Beau Chene punt, St. Martinville turned over the ball on an Olivier fumble just inside BC territory. Three plays later Mitchell picked off a Richard pass at the SM 40. Mallery then took a handoff and raced 59 yards, but the play was nullified by a penalty. But Olivier got it all back by scampering 62 yards to the BC 11 just as the quarter ended. The Tigers bogged down, however, netting zero yards over the next four plays and let a golden scoring opportunity slip away.
Then disaster struck the Gators as Richard threw deep downfield on first down only to see his pass picked off by Sheldon Hypolite who weaved his way 40 yards for a touchdown.
Three plays later Richard put the ball up again and this time Tiger defensive back Jamar Vallaire grabbed it and raced 55 yards for the game’s final score. Alex Oubre booted two PATs to give SM its 40-14 win.
Tiger coach Marc Broussard cleared his bench during the final eight minutes of play and the reserves were able to halt a Beau Chene drive at the SM four just before the final whistle.
The Tigers travel to Lafayette Friday to meet the Teurlings Catholic Rebels.