The stakes were high when Broadmoor and St. Michael squared off at the Louisiana Leadership Academy on Friday night. Broadmoor needed a win to keep its playoff hopes alive, while St. Michael had a chance for a top half power rating and a home game in the first round of the playoffs.
As it turned out, the St. Michael (7-3, 4-2 District 6-4A) made one more big play than Broadmoor did, and escaped with a 24-16.
The game that came down to the final play as Bucs quarterback Ryan Sibley overthrew John Chester in the back of the end zone on fourth-and-goal.
“Tonight we were able to finish,” St. Michael coach Eric Held said. “Two weeks ago (in an overtime loss to Plaquemine High) we weren’t able to, but tonight we did it.
“Give a lot of credit to my defensive coordinator Paul Varnado and offensive coordinator David Neubauer.”
Quarterback Brandon Fields and kicker Christopher Reid were the two big playmakers for the Warriors. Fields had two 1-yard scoring runs, and combined with running back C.J. Okpalobi on an 82-yard pass play that Held said turned the game around.
That play started as a disaster as Fields appeared to be trapped for a loss on a pass play. He somehow managed to escape the rush, reverse his field and hit Okpalobi in stride far downfield.
“I’m not sure who got the big block, maybe Donald Berg,” Fields said. “I ran left and then right and I saw him (Okpalobi) cut back across the field and I just tried to get it down field.
“Coach told us to be consistent tonight, and we just came out ready to play.”
The St. Michael special teams gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown, but Reid had three extra points including one 35-yarder after a penalty, a 33-yard field goal, three kickoffs into the end zone, and a key punt late in the game that gave the Buccaneers a long field for their final drive.
The game plan for BHS (4-6, 3-3)was to keep the ball away from the Warriors’ up-tempo offense, and the Bucs succeeded most of the second half.
After falling behind 21-8 at halftime, Broadmoor came back to march 80 yards in 17 plays and take nearly eight minutes off the clock. The Bucs pulled within 21-16 on a David Siggers touchdown run and a two-point conversion.
They followed by recovering a squib kickoff, but a holding penalty and a personal foul penalty took them out of scoring range.
“We kept making mistakes and shooting ourselves in the foot,” Broadmoor coach Rusty Price said. “We had a lot of holding penalties, and it seemed to happen every time we had a big play. But effort-wise this was one of our best games of the year. The kids rebounded back and played hard. I’m proud of their effort.”
“They gave me all they had tonight.”
The Bucs had early success with a plain vanilla offense, running out of the I and power-I formations. They drove 10 plays to the St. Michael 24 on their first drive of the game, mostly on inside running plays, before stalling and coming up short on a fourth-and-19 pass.
St. Michael had two sluggish possessions before mounting a 5-yard drive for its first score. Fields carried in from a yard out and Michael Reid added the PAT for 7-0 lead.
That lead didn’t last long, as Joshua Rogers took the kickoff back 93 yards for a touchdown, and quarterback Ryan Sibley ran for the two-point conversion and an 8-7 Broadmoor lead.
The Warriors came back with the long pass play and Fields’ second touchdown run.
Siggers was the game’s leading rusher with 136 yards on 26 carries. Okpalobi led the Warriors with 75 yards on 12 carries and 89 receiving yards.