The Saint Mary’s Tigers hosted the Block Bears Friday, Nov. 20 for Senior night and a chance to remain undefeated in district play and outright champions for the first time since 2015. Block has been struggling the past couple of seasons but asserted themselves early against Saint Mary’s. The Tigers started with the ball. A holding call and a sack negated any progress and the Tigers punt to the Bears. Block crosses mid-field before punting to the Tigers. Saint Mary’s has a good drive with Drake Griffin running hard, but the drive stalls and Tigers turn over on downs.
The Bears score four plays later when Jefferson hits Jones who is wide open behind the defensive coverage. 60 yards later, Block has the lead 6-0, the point after fails. Saint Mary’s answers with a score of their own early in the second quarter, Adam Parker to Ethan Busby on a 14-yard pass but the PAT fails. SMH 6, Block 6. The Tigers start their next drive in Bear territory on the 44. Ten plays later, after a score is called back by a penalty, Parker hits Graeme Fidelak from 12-yards out and Payne Williams adds the PAT. SMH 13, Block 6.
That would end scoring in the first half. The teams would trade the ball back and forth for a majority of the third quarter. The Tigers finally get into range for Williams and he obliges the team with a 27-yard field goal with 1:37 of time in the quarter. SMH 16, Block 6. Saint Mary’s was threatening to score again but a high snap over Parker turned the ball over to block. The teams trade the ball again and Block scores on a fluke of a play. The pass from Jefferson is tipped in the air by the Tiger defense and waiting for the present is Gary Stevenson who received the ball and is unimpeded going to the goal.
The two-point PAT is converted and Block inches closer. SMH 16, Block 13. 7:36 to play in regulation.
The Tigers would use almost all that time to drive the field and get to the 15 yard-line of block before Parker is cited for an intentional grounding. The penalty backs up the Tiger’s, but they keep the drive alive. With a 1:57 showing, Parker heaves a Hail Mary of a pass to the endzone and Dane Files comes down with the ball. Williams adds the point after and the Tiger’s secure the victory with a final score of 23 – 13. Undefeated in District play, the Tigers head to the playoffs with a regular season record of 6-2.
The Saint Mary’s Tigers have attained the #11 seed in the Division IV playoffs and will travel Friday to face the #6 seed Metairie Park Country Day Cajuns. The Cajun’s have a 3-2 record going into the playoffs and compete in district 9-1A. District 9-1A has two other teams in the playoffs, Riverside at #7 and St. Martin’s Episcopal at #16. Riverside beat Southern Lab earlier in the year 41-26 but lost a close game to the Cajun’s 34-32. The Cajuns have the minimum number of games to be post-season eligible. Most years it is huge to be practicing and playing Thanksgiving week. It means that you are close to getting to the dome and a State title.
That has all been altered with a late start to the season and the cancelation of many games Statewide due to COVID-19. One thing is for sure, the Tigers are happy to be playing at all and thankful for the opportunity to keep the season going.
Happy Thanksgiving Tigers and Tiger fans. Time to take on the Cajuns.