BOURG -- The first quarter belonged to H.L Bourgeois. The second quarter belonged to Ellender. The third quarter was a free for all and the fourth quarter was absolute chaos.
So it was only fitting that the game was decided in the last 10 seconds, when H.L. Bourgeois quarterback Connor Verdin hit Anthony Ruffin with a 40-yard touchdown pass giving the Braves a 40-34 win in a wild nondistrict game at South Terrebonne Memorial Stadium.
Ellender (1-2 overall) led 14-13 at halftime, scoring two second quarter touchdowns to overcome a 13-0 Braves (1-2 overall) lead after the Braves had scored twice in the first quarter.
Then the second half started, and all heck broke loose.
The Patriots extended their lead after taking the second half kickoff and marching 70 yards in eight plays, capped by Reginald Williams’ 11-yard touchdown run, making it 20-13 with 8:21 left in the third.
Ellender scored again three minutes later after an H.L. Bourgeois punt, when quarterback Lynn Parfait hit Kobe Hartman with a 52 yard pass, putting the Patriots at the Brave 6-yard line.
Parfait took it in from there on a sweep, but the second missed PAT of the half made it 26-13 with 5:38 left.
H.L. Bourgeois came right back, going 68 yards in eight plays, capped by Verdin’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Alek Domangue. The PAT was good, and the Braves trailed 26-20 with 4:02 left in the third.
Ellender answered with a 10 play, 84 yard drive, with Williams accounting for 48 of those yards with a 20 and a 28 yard run.
The two-point conversion was good, and Ellender held a healthy 34-20 lead with 36 seconds left.
It took H.L. Bourgeois one play cut the lead to 34-27, when Domangue hauled in a 53 yard strike from Verdin with 15 seconds left.
“It wasn’t disciplined football, I can tell you that,” Ellender coach David McCormick said. “It was sloppy football. I want to apologize to Patriot Nation. That’s not what we want. It was inconsistency. It was mental breakdowns. It was stupid penalties. It’s the same thing we’ve been fighting for the last two weeks. We’ve been trying to polish this up, but it’s week four, and we’re still making the same sloppy mistakes.”
The Braves tied the game at 34 all with 3:24 left in the game when Verdin hit Domangue with a 27 yard touchdown after a short Ellender punt set H.L. Bourgeois up at the Patriot 40.
Domangue had seven catches for 132 yards and three touchdowns for H.L. Bourgeois. He added four carries for 33 yards.
Ellender took the kickoff, but an offsides call and a holding penalty put the Patriots in a hole with 2nd-and-22 from their own 8-yard line.
A good punt put the Braves back at their own 38 with 58 seconds left, but that’s all the time H.L. Bourgeois needed for Verdin to find Ruffin, after two completions of nine and seven yards put the Braves at the Patriot 40.
“We told our kids all week to find a way to win, to try and find the will to win,” Braves coach Carey Melvin said. “And that’s what they did. It was utter chaos in the fourth quarter, but I was proud of the guys for the way they fought back in the fourth. They never backed down, even though we got down by God knows how many points, they just kept fighting.”