The Saint Mary’s Tiger football team returned to Turpin stadium on Friday night for homecoming against the LaSalle Tigers. So a battle of the Tigers would ensue. Saint Mary’s was coming off an impressive win on the road against Block and this would be the second district contest of the season for both teams. LaSalle beat Montgomery last week by a score of 19-14.
LaSalle won the toss and elected to receive the opening kick to start the game. LaSalle had possession at their own 37 yard line. After three plays and one move of the chains, a costly holding penalty backed them up to the 39. Clayton Jackson would come up with a big sack on the next play. A couple of additional plays would take place for LaSalle before they would face fourth and 22 and a punting situation. SMH would start their first drive of the game from their 32. Senior quarterback, Aaron Howell, would command a six play drive and connect through the air on a 43 yard touchdown pass to Bailey Shelton. PAT good by Bankston SMH 7- LaSalle 0.
LaSalle quarterback, Blade Beaubouef, would then methodically march his team down the field. They would run 16 plays and get as far as the Saint Mary’s 25. On fourth and eight Linebacker Wes Manual blitzed untouched to tackle Beaubouef for a loss of about 12 yards. SMH would take over on downs and the first quarter would expire. On the first play of the second quarter, Howell finds a wide open Slade Bienvenue on a 63 yard touchdown pass. PAT kick by Bankston good SMH 14 – 0.
It would take LaSalle only three plays to answer with a quarterback counter off the right side. Beaubouef would run untouched 60 yards to the end zone. Two point conversion attempt no good. SMH 14 – LaSalle 6. Bailey Shelton received the kickoff after the score and returned it 25 yards to the 36. SMH couldn’t get it going and go three and out, punting to the LaSalle 30. LaSalle would have their own difficulty putting together a drive. On third and eight, the SMH defense would again come up big. Wes Manuel would sack Beaubouef for a loss of twelve yards to bring up 4th and 20. LaSalle would punt to Shelton who took the ball in at the Lasalle 48 and made a nice return to the 22. A holding penalty backs SMH up to the 34. Bievenue would receive a pass in the flats after motioning across the formation and run 20 yards to the LaSalle 15. Another penalty backs the Tigers to the 34. Howell eludes a would be sack and gets back to the original line of scrimmage. The next play was an option to the left, pitch to Nelson results in the ball at the seven. From there Bailey Shelton would not be denied the end zone as he dove in for the score. PAT good SMH 21 – 6. LaSalle would start a long drive in the last 3 minutes of the half with some good running by Beaubouef. The drive would be cut short of success on the great defensive play by Jackson and Manuel; who combined to sack Beaubouef. On fourth and 18, ball on the SMH 32, Beaubouef would attempt a long pass to the end zone intercepted by Bankston and returned to the 38 yard line. First half completed and SMH goes into the locker room with the lead.
Saint Mary’s would receive the second half kick and start their drive at their 44. Howell connects with Shelton on a 28 yard pass that would have been intercepted other than Shelton’s athleticism. The drive would continue and culminate with a 5 yard touchdown pass from Howell to Jay Parker as he was pushed across with a rugby style scrum from the offensive line. The PAT snap was high to Howell who scrambled and found Bankston in the end zone to add two. SMH 29 – LSHS 6.
The second half would see Smith #32 take the helm at quarterback for LaSalle. They go three and out and punt to Saint Mary’s who take over at their 39. On the fourth play from scrimmage Howell connects with Shelton as he ran past defenders on a skinny post route of 59 yards and easily strides in for 6. PAT kick is good from Bankston SMH 36 – LaSalle 6. LaSalle takes the ensuing kick and the SMH defense remains stingy forcing a punt after a sack of Smith by Jackson and LeGrande. Saint Mary’s resumes control and Howell and the offense score again on a 47 yard touchdown run by Matt Nelson off left tackle. PAT kick failed SMH 42 – LHS 6. That would end scoring for the third quarter.
The fourth quarter started with a punt from LaSalle to Saint Marys. The younger Saint Mary’s players would attempt to tack on more points but came up short and had to punt to LaSalle. On the touchback, LaSalle begins at the 20 starting a drive that would result in a 17 yard run on fourth and 6. PAT no good SMH 42 – LaSalle 12. 3 minutes 20 seconds remain in regulation. The young Tigers would run out the clock and Saint Mary’s would be the top Tiger this night. It was a victory for homecoming as the Tigers improve to 4 and 1 on the season. Saint Mary’s will face Montgomery on Thursday night October 5th.