by Dan McDonald (Special To Acadiana Postgame)

The decision had been made on the Teurlings Catholic sideline even before the nearly-equalizing touchdown.

The host Rebels had just driven 81 yards in 11 plays in the final 2:14 and Jansen Lormand had just powered the final yard to bring his team within 38-37 of Carencro’s Golden Bears with 43 seconds left. And Rebel coach Sonny Charpentier didn’t hesitate to send his offense back out for a do-or-die two-point conversion.

“We were going to go with something that had been good for us, the power read from the quarterback,” Charpentier said. “But they (Carencro) overshifted and brought a safety up in there, so we decided to run the counter back to the other side.”

That meant Lormand carried on the two-point conversion, and when he cut back left and found just enough space to get into the end zone, the Rebels had escaped with a wild 39-38 District 4-4A victory over the Bears at Teurlings Stadium.

Carencro had just driven to a go-ahead touchdown with that 2:14 remaining when the cat-quick and dangerous Kendarius Poullard cut upfield on a sweep and raced in from 15 yards out to snap a 31-all tie. And even that touchdown followed each team getting a field goal on their previous possession in a four-score fourth quarter. Teurlings’ Aaron Broussard and Carencro’s Logan Boudreaux had matched field goals with 9:46 and 5:08 remaining, during a final period in which both teams were wracked with injuries and cramps.

That physical toll was most of the reason that Charpentier sent the offense back out for a win-or-lose two-point conversion in the final minute.

“We were playing with some makeshift guys out there,” he said. “We were a lot of people down. That was two pretty beat-up football teams.”

“It didn’t surprise me,” said Carencro coach Rip Eveland of the Rebels going for the two-pointer. “They were thinking they didn’t want to play overtime. This was a really physical game.”

The Rebels (6-3, 3-1) were ranked sixth in the Division II select power ratings and could move up a spot and gain a first-round bye with Friday’s win, pending a season-finale contest at Opelousas next Friday.

Carencro (7-2, 2-2), ranked sixth in the Class 4A power listing, found itself down 10-0 less than two minutes in when Lormand took the opening kickoff back 96 yards for a touchdown and the Bears fumbled on the ensuing kickoff. Blaise Begnaud recovered at the Carencro 8, setting up the first of three Broussard field goals.

But the Bears struck right back with two touchdowns in a four-minute span. Poullard had a 23-yard scoring run – moments after brother Mondarius Poullard broke a 47-yard run to set up the score --, Brendan Willis intercepted Rebel quarterback Hayden Cantrelle and returned it to the TCHS 14, and linebacker-turned-fullback Jalen Angelle powered in from one yard out for a 14-13 Carencro lead with 41 seconds left in the first period.

“We did some good things,” Eveland said. “The only problem was we made the hill real big to get up. They got the big play at the end and won.”

Broussard’s second field goal and Cantrelle’s 49-yard scoring pass to Holland Griffin gave the Rebels a 20-14 halftime lead. However, Bear quarterback Carl Randall came out on fire after halftime and hit Kendarius Poullard for a 65-yard scoring strike up the hash marks only 90 seconds into the second half.

Randall, who missed most of the last two games with a leg injury, threw for 268 yards on 14-of-24 passes, with Poullard catching six of those for 121 yards and that go-ahead score.

The Rebels drove right back, with Lormand scoring from one yard out and getting a throwback to Cantrelle on a two-point conversion for a 28-21 lead. But two plays later, Randall found Eric Tolivour with a lofted 47-yard pass to the Rebel 1 and Treylon Barnaba scored on the next play for a 28-all tie.

Cantrelle, who was 16-of-33 for 177 yards and rushed for 36 more, completed his last five passes on the winning drive including three to Griffin, who finished with five grabs for 101 yards and had a 23-yard catch that put the ball at the Carencro 3 with less than a minute left.

Lormand, who finished with 85 yards, scored two plays later before the Rebels’ winning two-pointer. That win was sealed when TCHS sacked Randall twice in the final 43 seconds, the last one coming from Cole Newland for a loss of 12 yards on fourth-and-17.

“We got a couple of turnovers and only got three points out of it,” Charpentier said. “But I’m proud of the kids for hanging in.”

Teurlings Catholic 39, Carencro 38
CAR    14    0   14  10 -- 38
TCHS  10   10   8   11 -- 39
First Quarter
TCHS – Jansen Lormand 96 kickoff return (Aaron Broussard kick)
TCHS – Broussard 20 field goal
CAR – Kendarius Poullard 23 run (Logan Boudreaux kick)
CAR – Jalen Angelle 1 run (Boudreaux kick)
Second Quarter
TCHS – Broussard 30 field goal
TCHS – Holland Griffin 49 pass from Hayden Cantrelle (Broussard kick)
Third Quarter
CAR – K. Poullard 65 pass from Carl Randall (Boudreaux kick)
TCHS – Lormand 1 run (Hayden Cantrelle pass from Noah Romero)
CAR – Treylon Barnaba 1 run (Boudreaux kick)
Fourth Quarter
CAR -- Boudreaux 28 field goal
TCHS – Broussard 25 field goal
CAR – K. Poullard 15 run (Boudreaux kick)
TCHS – Lormand 1 run (Lormand run)

CAR      TCHS
First downs               20           17
Rushing Yards         194         120
Passing Yards         268         177
Total Yards               462         297
Comp-Att-Int        14-24-0   16-33-1
Punts                     4-36.8     3-39.3
Fumbles-lost            2-2          5-2
Penalties-yards     11-131      4-30

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHING – CAR: Kendarius Poullard 10-98 2 TD, Treylon Barnaba 18-62 1 TD, Mondarius Poullard 3-53, Kevin LeBlanc 2-2, Casey Fontenot 1-2, Jalen Angelle 1-1 1 TD, Carl Randall 3-minus 24. TCHS: Jansen Lormand 18-85 2 TD, Hayden Cantrelle 19-36, Tyler Bruno 2-5, team 2-minus 6.
PASSING – CAR: Randall 14-24-0, 268 yds., 1 TD. TCHS: Cantrelle 16-33-1, 177 yds., 1 TD.
RECEIVING – CAR: K. Poullard 6-121 1 TD, Barnaba 3-42, Artrell Marks 2-41, Eric Tolivour 1-47, Delon Senegal 1-10, M. Poullard 1-7. TCHS: Holland Griffin 5-101 1 TD, Bruno 4-35, Lormand 3-16, Connor Talbot 1-13, Hunter Landry 1-5, Cole Champagne 1-4, Luke Vidrine 1-3.