by Dan McDonald/Special to Acadiana Postgame

His running style may not have the power of Leonard Fournette, or the speed and elusiveness of Elijah McGuire.

But Teurlings Catholic quarterback Cole Kelley proved he can be a running threat Friday night ... and did it at the best ossible time for the Rebels.

Kelley did throw for 369 yards, but it was a fourth quarter filled with calling his own number and pounding inside for yardage that made the biggest difference Friday as the Rebels posted a 42-28 win over District 4-4A and crosstown rival St. Thomas More.

With a packed Rebel Stadium rocking as the homestanding Teurlings squad scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns, the Rebels (6-2, 3-0) took charge of the district race with two games remaining.

The Cougars (6-2, 2-1) suffered their first loss since an early-season setback against Catholic-Baton Rouge in the matchup of the state’s third and fourth-ranked Class 4A clubs.

Kelley aired it out 42 times in the game, completing 26 of them including a fourth-quarter screen to running back Jansen Lormand that covered 21 yards and gave the Rebels a 35-28 lead with 9:52 left. But it was on the ground that the 6-foot-7 Kelley did the final-period damage.

He ran 10 times for 63 yards in that final period when TCHS was looking to control the clock, including seven out of 11 carries in a 45-yard, 11-play drive that took over five minutes off the clock in the final quarter. Naturally, it was Kelley who capped the drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak with 2:57 left to give Teurlings the two-touchdown lead.

 “I wouldn’t want to have to tackle him,” said Rebel coach Sonny Charpentier, whose squad has won the local rivalry game two years in a row. “We knew we had to keep their offense off the field, and I’m proud of the way our guys were able to do that in the second half.”

That clinching drive began with 8:19 left and with the Rebels starting inside STM territory at the 45 after a short punt, but the short march – short by the standards of the rest of the game – came entirely on the ground and included three of the last four of the Rebels’ stunning 32 first downs.

On the third play after Kelley’s score, STM quarterback Will Bellamy was picked off by Kade Sonnier in Rebel territory, and Teurlings was able to run out the final 2:30 in taking their second straight win in the series. TCHS had stunned the Cougars 56-46 last season, rallying back from a 43-17 deficit in the final quarter and a half.

STM themselves had rallied back twice in the third quarter after the hosts led for most of the first half. Bellamy, who connected with Griffin Hebert for two first-half touchdowns, found Bellamy again with a 15-yard toss to cap a quick drive with the second-half kickoff. That score gave the Cougars a 21-20 advantage, their first since early in the second quarter.

Teurlings came back with an 80-yard drive of its own, with Lormand scoring from five yards out with 6:52 left in the period and the Rebels taking a 28-21 lead with a trick two-point play, wide receiver Hayden Cantrelle throwing back to Kelly for the conversion

The Rebel defense stopped STM on a fourth down at the TCHS 13 on the next drive, but Kelley was victimized three plays later. Peyton Broussard stepped in front of one of Kelley’s aerials and returned it 35 yards for a score that tied the game at 28 with 1:14 left in the period.

But Teurlings marched right back, going 80 yards  in nine plays and Kelley hitting Lormand with the 21-yard scoring pass to give the Rebels the lead for good.

Teurlings totaled 516 offensive yards in the game including a surprising 147 on the ground, even with top running back Noah Harris sidelined by injury.

 “We were able to do some things in the second half,” Charpentier said. “I think they (STM) got tired on defense and we were able to take advantage of that. We gave them one back (on the interception return), but I’d proud of the way our guys answered after that.”

Bellamy, who was 19-of-28 for 271 yards, hit Hebert with touchdowns of 20 and 15 yards for the Cougars’ two first-half scores, but the Rebels took the lead on one of those Bellamy throws when Luke Mahne stepped in front of a cross-field pass and returned his interception 28 yards to give Teurlings a 10-7 lead on the third play of the second quarter.

Kelley ran in from one yard out with 2:28 left in the first half to make it 17-7, but the Cougars drove to a touchdown in just over a minute with Bellamy hitting Hebert with 1:10 left in the half.

Brayden Blanchard had the other scoring for the Rebels with a pair of field goals, the last of which came from 21 yards out with four seconds left before halftime for a 20-14 advantage.

 

Teurlings Catholic 42, St. Thomas More 28

St. Thomas More              7              7              14           0              --             28

Teurlings Catholic           0              20           8              14           --             42

First Quarter

STM -- Griffin Hebert 20 pass from Will Bellamy (Bailey Raborn kick)

Second Quarter

TCHS -- Brayden Blanchard 43 field goal
TCHS -- Luke Mahne 28 interception return (Blanchard kick)
TCHS -- Cole Kelley 1 run (Blanchard kick)
STM -- Hebert 15 pass from Bellamy (Raborn kick)
CHS -- Blanchard 21 field goal

Third Quarter

STM -- Hebert 15 pass from Bellamy (Raborn kick)
TCHS -- Jansen Lormand 5 run (Kelley pass from Hayden Cantrelle)
STM -- Peyton Broussard 35 interception return (Raborn kick)

Fourth Quarter

TCHS -- Lormand 21 pass from Kelley (Blanchard kick)
TCHS -- Kelley 1 run (Blanchard kick)

 

                                STM       TCHS

First Downs                 17           32

Rushing Yards           16-31     37-147  

Passing Yards            271         369

Total Yards                 302         516

Comp-Att-Int            19-28-2    26-43-1

Punts-Avg.                3-35.7      1-49

Fumbles-Lost               1-0         3-0

Penalties-Yards           10-97     6-65

 

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING -- STM: Evan Trahan 9-32, Trevon Reed 4-3, Will Bellamy 3-minus 4. TCHS: Cole Kelley 20-88 2 TD, Jansen Lormand 16-61 1 TD, Chaney Dodge 1-minus 2.

PASSING -- STM: Bellamy 19-28-2, 271 yds., 3 TD. TCHS: Kelley 26-42-1, 369 yds., 1 TD, team 0-1-0.

RECEIVING -- STM: Trevor Begue 8-106, Griffin Hebert 7-90 3 TD, Nick Morton 3-50, Trahan 1-25. TCHS: Hayden Cantrelle 8-119, Lormand 8-68 1 TD, Paul Joe Hammes 4-125, Holland Griffin 4-31, Evan Huesers 1-8, Luke Gossen 1-18.

 

Records: STM 6-2, 2-1; TCHS 6-2, 3-0. Next: STM hosts Opelousas Friday, TCHS at  Friday.