BASILE -- In a wild finish, Basile quarterback Cole Manuel powered his way over the goal line with no time left on the clock to give the Bearcats a 34-28 win over the Mamou Demons Friday night.
Manuel’s touchdown came on an untimed down because of a personal foul call on the Demons following a 30-yard pass play to Izzy Drehemis that put the ball at the Mamou one and a half yard line.
With the win, Basile improved to 1-1 on the year and will travel to Ville Platte to take on the Sacred Heart Trojans this Friday night.
The Demons fell to 1-1 on the year and will host Bunkie this Friday night in a non-district contest.
After the game, Basile head coach Kevin Bertrand praised his team’s effort in the win.
“This team refused to allow this game to slip away from them,” stated Bertrand. “I am just so proud of our players and our coaches. This was definitely a team effort tonight, and this win shows that we can overcome adversity.”
Mamou head coach Dwight Collins struggled to find the words to describe the feeling on the last second loss.
“It is hard for me to believe that this game came down to the last play,” Collins said. “I thought we played hard enough to win tonight. But, we just came up a little bit short. I told the players after the game that we need to work harder. We don’t forget what happened here tonight, but we learn from it.”
If this game had been written as a novel, the title would be “A Tale of Dueling Quarters” as the two teams took turns dominating whole parts of the game.
It was Basile who came out swinging first, scoring on their first three drives of the night.
On the opening possession, the Bearcats, aided by three offside penalties on the Mamou defense, drove 71 yards in nine plays for the first points of the game. The final play of the drive, a 40-yard touchdown pass from Manuel to Drehemsis. Jose Palacios added the extra point and Basile took the early 7-0 lead with 8:53 left to go in the first quarter.
The next Bearcat possession started at their 23-yard line following a Mamou fumble at Basile 20-yard line. Eight plays and 77 yards later, Manuel scooted around the right side from five yards out to put the Bearcats up by two scores. Palacios’ kick was blocked giving Basile a 13-0 lead with 3:31 to go in the opening quarter.
That drive by the Bearcats was once again aided by three Mamou penalties. On the night, the Demons were flagged 21 times for 165 yards.
Basile received the football back at the Mamou 36-yard line after a Demon punt. With 1:28 to go in the quarter, the Bearcats needed just three plays and 1:24 to pick up their next touchdown; a 12 yard run from Isaiah Ceasar. The kick was no good an with four seconds left in the first quarter, Basile held a 19-0 lead over Mamou.
As much as the Bearcats owned the first quarter, it was the Demons that asserted their will in the second quarter. Beginning with the first drive of the period, Mamou would string together 28 unanswered points to take complete control of the game.
The first points for the Demons came following a 49-yard drive that ate up 5:10 off of the clock and took 12 plays. On the final play of the possession, quarterback Daylon Ardoin punched it in from one yard out to cut into the Basile lead. The two-point run was no good, leaving the score 19-6 in favor of the Bearcats.
The next score from the Demons came via special teams. After pushing the Bearcats back to their five-yard line, Mamou forced Basile to punt the ball away. On the kick, Kyrian Green picked the ball out of the air and raced 32 yards for the touchdown. Jadon Bellard tacked on the two-point run, making it a 19-14 game with 5:31 to go before half.
The Demons would have had another special teams touchdown on the ensuing punt from Basile, but a holding call forced Mamou to take their next possession at their 40-yard line.
On the second play of the drive, Ardoin scrambled to his left and then turned all the way around, moving back to his right and found Payton Vidrine down the field for a 55 yard touchdown pass with 1:57 to go in the second quarter. The two-point run failed, however the Demons owned their first lead of the night, 20-19.
Another special teams play led to the next Mamou score. With the ball at the Basile 20-yard line and facing fourth and 19, the Bearcats set up for the punt. A Mamou player ripped through the Basile line and blocked the punt. The Demons recovered at the nine yard line with a little under a minute to go in the half.
Two plays later, Bellard powered his way in from nine yards out to extend Mamou’s lead. Bellard added the two-point run and the Demons led 28-19 as the two teams made their way into the halftime locker room.
With all the momentum in favor of Mamou, it would seem that the Bearcats may lose another game after holding an early lead. But, Bertrand and his team found something extra in the third quarter.
A stalled opening drive to start the third period forced Mamou to punt the ball away. Taking over at their 22-yard line, Basile marched 78 yards in eight plays to cut into the Demon lead.
The final play of the possession, Ceasar sprinted his way from 42 yard out for pay dirt. Palacios tacked on the extra point and with 7:25 to go in the third quarter, Basile trailed by two, 28-26.
Not to be outdone, the Bearcat special teams came up with a big play of their own to tie the game up at 28 apiece. Facing a fourth and 20 at their 20-yard line on their next possession, the Demons were forced to kick the ball away.
A Basile player slashed his way through the Mamou line and blocked the punt. All Demon punter Devin Messer could do was fall on it in the end zone, giving Basile a safety and knotting the game up with 4:45 to go in the third quarter.
The teams traded possessions for the rest of the third period and most of the fourth quarter. Mamou did manage to make it down to the Basile four-yard line on their final drive of the night. However, the Bearcat defense bowed up and stopped the Demons one yard short of the goal line on a fourth down run.
With a little over five minutes to go in the game, Basile had one last chance to get down the field for a shot at the winning score.
A methodical drive that began with 12 running plays in a row, wound up at the Demon 33-yard line with five seconds left on the clock. Facing a fourth and 19, Manuel dropped back and hit Drehemsis on a perfect strike down to the three-yard line.
That play, coupled with the Demon personal foul penalty gave the Bearcats the winning touchdown on final play with no time left on the clock.