Dutchtown grinds out victory over rival St. Amant

DUTCHTOWN — Two big plays helped No. 17 seed Dutchtown High School break open a tight contest and grab a 20-10 victory against District 5-5A rival and No. 16 St. Amant in a first-round playoff game Friday night at Griffin Field.

Torrance Mosley rushed for 98 yards, 76 coming on a third-quarter touchdown run. And Mason Nickens hooked up with Shelby Christy for a 51-yard TD pass as the Griffins (8-2) advanced.

St. Amant’s Trey Washington rushed for 127 yards, but the Dutchtown defense tightened when it counted to turn back the Gators (7-3).

“I thought our defense played outstanding,” Dutchtown coach Benny Saia said. “We didn’t give up the big play (and) we made ’em drive. I thought our kicking game made the field long for them. I just thought it was a total team effort.”

It was the second time the Griffins defeated the Gators this season.

“It’s very tough to beat the same team twice in one year when they’re a good football team,” Saia said. “(St. Amant) is a good football team. I’m just as proud as I can be of my team and especially my seniors. We get to play another week.”

St. Amant controlled the ball for most of the first quarter and put up a late first-half score. But the Gators couldn’t build on that momentum.

“Offensively, in the second half, we bogged and got behind the sticks a little bit, and I thought that was the difference in the game,” St. Amant coach David Oliver said. “You have to give Dutchtown a lot of credit.”

Leading 6-3, the Griffins took the opening second-half kickoff and needed just two plays to increase their lead. Mosley took a handoff from the shotgun and blazed through the right side of the line for his 76-yard score. Tyler Sarrazin, who also kicked two field goals, added the extra point to give Dutchtown a 13-3 lead just 41 seconds into the third quarter.

St. Amant responded with a 78-yard touchdown drive to cut DHS’ edge to 13-10. Beau Nickel threw a 12-yard TD pass to Ryan Cardinale, and Trey Belleu added the extra point with 6:15 to go in the third quarter.

After the two teams exchanged punts, Dutchtown built a 20-10 cushion on Nickens’ long TD pass to Christy with 28 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

From there, the Griffins played ground control and chewed up nearly 6 minutes on one fourth-quarter drive despite not scoring.

Sarrazin’s 33-yard field goal put the Griffins ahead 3-0 with 7:49 to go in the first half.

On the next play from scrimmage, Dutchtown recovered a St. Amant fumble at the Gators 24. The SAHS defense stiffened, but Sarrazin hit a 23-yard field goal that gave the Griffins a 6-0 edge with 4:08 remaining in the first half.

Belleu’s 20-yard field goal cut DHS’ lead to 6-3 with just 16 seconds left before halftime.

Dutchtown’s big second half ended a promising season for St. Amant, which made the playoffs for the first time since 2005.

“I think it was a step in the right direction,” Oliver said in summing up the season. “We’ve got a good nucleus of guys. These seniors did a great job putting us back on good footing. We look forward to taking the next step.”

DHS took a step forward after suffering a first-round loss as a No. 4 seed last year.

“We just told them that you better be ready to play because if you don’t, you won’t play the next week,” Saia said. “We kind of like what we do so we’re not ready to end it right now. And they answered the challenge.”