LAFAYETTE — St. Thomas More took advantage of two second-half turnovers to help score 24 unanswered points Friday night and defeat second-ranked Teurlings Catholic 31-21 in the District 5-4A opener for both teams.
STM won a fourth straight game over Teurlings.
The Cougars (3-3), who have won three straight, trailed 14-7 at halftime, but the momentum changed in the first part of the third period.
Teurlings dropped to 5-1.
The game marked the second straight year the teams have played. The schools played every year from 1982-88.
STM opened the second half with an 81-yard touchdown drive, and on the kickoff, the Cougars’ Brennan Bourgeois recovered a Teurlings fumble at midfield.
Eleven plays later, STM’s Gunnar Raborn kicked a 25-yard field goal to give the Cougars a 17-14 lead.
Teurlings coach Sony Charpentier said the turnovers were crucial for his team.
“We managed to stay away from the turnover bug for five games now, but tonight we didn’t take care of the ball,” Charpentier said.
“In the third quarter, we left our defense on the field too long and didn’t get enough offensive plays. The bottom line, though, we just didn’t play well enough to win.”
STM’s control of the ball and the clock in the third period kept the Rebels’ offense off the field. Teurlings managed just six plays in the third period.
Part of the Rebels’ defensive problems came on third down. STM converted 9 of 14 third down situations.
“Give a lot of credit to our quarterback (Brandon Bergeron). I’m really proud of him,” said STM coach Jim Hightower. “He threw the ball well and our receivers made a lot of tough catches on third down.”
Hightower said the game’s obvious momentum shift came in the third quarter.
“Getting the fumble on the kickoff was real big. Then right before that, we have the long touchdown drive to start the half. We had the ball for eight or nine minutes of the third quarter,” he said.
Bergeron threw four touchdown passes and completed 23 of 29 passes for 271 yards.
Seth Kelley caught 11 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. Jake Juneau caught a 60-yard touchdown and another for 18 yards.
Juneau finished with five catches for 114.
Teurlings quarterback Conner Cronin qas 18 of 33 for 240 passing yards.
Cronin and Bergeron each experienced an interception.
Teurlings dominated the final 4:54 after Juneau’s 60-yard touchdown reception with 5:00 remaining.
The Rebels moved 65 yards in nine plays and scored with 3:14 remaining on Cronin’s 7-yard pass to Jimmie McBride. It was McBride’s second TD of the night.
TCHS launched another potential scoring drive that started with 1:38 left after the Cougars failed to get a first down.
The Rebels drove to the Cougars’ 1-yard line, but Cronin’s third-down pass was batted down on the game’s final play.
TCHS opened the game with an 81-yard drive that featured Blair Lormand gaining all but 17 yards. Lormand scored on a 1-yard run.
STM answered with a 31-yard drive following the interception of Cronin. Bergeron was 3-for-3 on the drive and the Cougars scored when Tee Chenevert caught a 1-yard pass.
McBride’s 11-yard reception gave the Rebels the 14-7 halftimelead (7:37). The TD ended an 80-play march that took nearly nine minutes.
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