Belle Chasse gets key plays late to advance past Carver, 20-12

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BELLE CHASSE – Belle Chasse turned one fourth-down stop into the go-ahead touchdown and then produced another stop in the final two minutes to preserve a 20-12 victory over Carver in a Class 4A first-round matchup Friday night.

The game was seen live on Crescent City Sports.

The 14th-seeded Cardinals (9-2) won in the first round for the second consecutive year and advance to a regional round matchup at No. 3 seed and unbeaten St. Martinville next Friday. Carver ended its season at 7-4.

Belle Chasse led 12-6 at halftime, but the Rams received the second-half kickoff and needed only three plays to find the end zone on a 35-yard pass from Quincy Curry to Justin London. The point after try failed, leaving the game tied at 12-all.

Carver had the ball late in the third quarter at its 45, facing a fourth down and less than a yard to go, but the Belle Chasse defense stuffed a quarterback sneak attempt by Curry and gave the offense its best field position of the night.

The Cardinals needed eight plays to find the end zone on a 1-yard sneak by Jordan Mariana, his second of the night, with 8:39 remaining. After a penalty on the PAT, Belle Chasse coach Stephen Meyers elected to go for two, and Mariana kept it again to make it an eight-point game. Mariana rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown and completed 1-of-3 passes for 41 yards.

Carver took the ensuing kickoff and drove from its 20, twice converting on fourth down – one of them controversial when it appeared Curry was at least a yard short of the line to gain on a scramble near midfield. The chains had already been moved for Belle Chasse to take over on offense and when there could not be a measurement, the officials awarded the Rams a first down.

Again facing fourth down at the Cardinals’ 19, Curry’s pass went incomplete with 1:55 remaining, and Belle Chasse made two first downs to run out the clock.

Each team scored on its opening possession of the night, Belle Chasse on a 6-yard run by 1,300-yard rusher Ralph Jones and Carver on a 28-yard romp by Randolph Armstead. Jones rushed for 103 yards and a score.

Mariana’s 41-yard pass to Charlie Burt – the run-heavy Cardinals’ only completion of the night – set up the quarterback’s first rushing touchdown on a 1-yard run with 2:15 left before halftime.

“We set the tone of the game on the first drive of the game, taking nearly seven minutes and scoring a touchdown,” Belle Chasse coach Stephen Meyers said. “It was close. Carver is a good team. They are athletic, fast and they are coached well. We’re not the most athletic, we’re not the fastest team but we play good defense, we run the ball on offense and we pass the ball when we can. That’s how we play. We’ve won a lot of games that way.”

Belle Chasse advances to play at unbeaten No. 3 seed St. Martinville, who outscored No. 30 Franklin 55-42.

“They are going to be 11-0 and they are 11-0 for a reason,” Meyers said. “We’re going to do our best, go up there and play hard. We’ve already played Karr and Warren Easton so it can’t get any harder than that.”

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Lenny Vangilder

Lenny Vangilder

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Lenny has been involved in college athletics since the early 1980s, when he began working Tulane University sporting events while still attending Archbishop Rummel High School. He continued that relationship as a student at Loyola University, where he graduated in 1987. For the next 11 years, Vangilder worked in the sports information offices at Southwestern Louisiana (now UL-Lafayette) and Tulane;…

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