Video: Fontainebleau edges Mandeville in OT thriller
Go for the win.
That was the decision by first-year Mandeville head coach Hutch Gonzales Friday night. It was a bold decision but it did not pan out out.
Devin Tott’s incomplete pass on a two-point conversion in overtime gave visiting Fontainebleau a thrilling 35-34 win over Mandeville at Syd Theriot Stadium.
It was the second straight win for the Bulldogs in the series against their city rival. The Skippers beat Fontainebleau eight straight times from 2009-2016. Clearly, the worm is turning in the big rivalry contest.
In a back-and-forth-affair where extra points played a huge role, Fontainebleau got the biggest and final stop in overtime.
After the Bulldogs scored in their overtime possession when Josh Bailey connected with Britt Johnson on a 10-yard touchdown pass and the extra point made it 35-28, the Skippers answered as Charles Quinn raced 10 yards for a score to make it 35-34, setting the stage for the two-point conversion attempt.
Bailey earlier connected on a 96-yard touchdown pass to Jaden Davenport. Iverson Celestine, who rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns, tied the game at 28-28 late in the fourth quarter on a two-yard touchdown pass but Christopher Mastio’s extra point attempt bounced off of the left upright, forcing overtime. Mastio connected on a field goal earlier for the Bulldogs.
Bailey passed for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
Tott connected on a pair of touchdown passes, including a 14-yard scoring strike to Will Sheppard and a 15-yard strike to Dereje Gaspard, who also ran 44 yards for a score.
Fontainebleau jumped on top early on a one-yard touchdown run by Celestine and a safety to lead 9-0 before Mandeville rallied.
Caden Costa had a 23-yard field goal for Mandeville rallied to take a 10-9 lead. Costa had a pair of field goals for the Skippers.
On The Three Tailgaters Show on WGSO 990 AM Saturday morning, Fontainebleau head coach Chris Blocker was relieved, as much as anything, with the exciting victory.
“I don’t know how much hair I have left after last night,” Blocker joked.
Blocker was not surprised when Gonzales decided to go for the win.
“I really wasn’t, considering they were the home team,” Blocker said. “I probably would have done the same. I think it’s all about the momentum, the momentum of the crowd, the excitement there in the stands and on the sideline.”
Blocker was happy to see his offense get it going on the ground and in the air.
“Balance is key offensively and it is something we’ve been working toward,” Blocker said. “I was glad to see Josh Bailey took it by the horns and ran with it. We struggled a little bit early in the first half but hit some big completions, one to Davenport for the touchdown and that was big for us. Celestine put up a big game running the ball for us and that was key, opening up the passing game for us.”
Winning a big rivalry game was huge for the Skippers.
“I think it ranks up there with some of the better ones,” Blocker said. “When Fontainebleau was built, there were a large percentage of the students that started here who came from Mandeville. That’s how it began.”
Getting off on the right foot in District 6-5A was an important first step for the Bulldogs.
“It’s big to start district play with a win,” Blocker said. “Our athletes know that. Nothing surprises me in this district. You can’t take anyone lightly and that’s year in and year out. We had a tough pre-district schedule and that was built by design and it seems to be paying off.”
Fontainebleau (2-2, 1-0) hosts Northshore next Friday night while Mandeville (0-3, 0-1) will be in search of its first win at Ponchatoula.
Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE Owner and CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Football Foundation, College…