Bastrop 20, Carver 19
When's the last time Bastrop won a game that was decided by a PAT? Rest assured, it had been a spell prior to Friday night's 20-19 season-opening victory over Carver.
Quaterius Hawkins threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Christian Smith with 8:59 remaining and A.J. Fenceroy punched the decisive extra point through as the Bastrop Rams squeaked by the Carver Rams.
In a game that had been tied at 13 for nearly 14 minutes, Bastrop took over on downs at its own 29 when Jabez Thompson defended a fourth-and-12 pass.
Four plays later, Fenceroy struck for another big play on special teams. With the Rams bringing on the punting unit on fourth-and-three, Fenceroy darted 14 yards for a first down at midfield.
Fenceroy surprised even his own teammates when he took off on the fake punt.
"It was just something we did on the fly," Bastrop coach Adrian Burnette said. "They hadn't been rushing, and I didn't want (the formation) to look any different, so I kept it between me and A.J. I told him, 'If they don't rush, take off.'"
Fenceroy followed his coach's instructions — to an extent.
"The funny thing about it is he was supposed to go straight to the left, and he went straight to the right," Burnette said.
Not that Burnette was complaining about the result.
"I am fortunate enough to have some good athletes on this team," Burnette said. "It was just a situation of letting an athlete be an athlete."
Two plays and a false start led to third-and-18 from the minus-42. Smith then slipped behind the secondary, caught Hawkins' pass at the 9 and walked into the endzone to complete a 58-yard TD strike. Fenceroy's extra point put the B-Rams up 20-13 with 8:59 on the clock.
Carver then capitalized on a special teams blunder for its only points of the second half.
Bringing on the punting unit three plays later, Carver retained possession when Bastrop made an ill-advised effort to cover a short punt. Once the ball had been touched by a member of the return team, the C-Rams alertly recovered at midfield.
Quincy Curry's 26-yard pass to Justin London on third-and-four was good for a first down at the 20. From there, Curry found Reginald Patterson Jr. inthe right side of the endzone to bring the visitors from New Orleans within 20-19. However, the low extra point bounced harmlessly into the endzone, and Bastrop maintained a 1-point lead with 6:17 remaining.
Starting from its own 30 after the kickoff, a holding penalty soon led to third-and-16 from the 24.
Hawkins then galloped 37 yards before stepping out of bounds at the Carver 39.
Three plays later, Cartavious Allen's 18-yard run set up first-and-goal from the 5.
Though the B-Rams were unable to put the game away, Carver took over on downs with 99 yards and 2:13 to go.
An incomplete pass later, Corey Johnson's 41-yard burst off of a delayed handoff advanced the visitors to their own 42.
A holding flag backed Carver up to the 32, but Corey Johnson moved the chains with a five-yard pickup on fourth-and-four.
With Carver encountering third-and-seven from the Bastrop 44, Robert McDaniel's near interception brought up fourth down. Defensive end T.J. Blanch then fired into the backfield to drop Curry for a loss of eight to preserve the victory.
Lining up in the victory formation, Bastrop needed just one snap to kill off the final 25 seconds.
Starting the game on offense, Carver set up at its own 29 after C.J. Mullins made a textbook open field tackle on the opening kickoff.
Reginald Patterson Jr.'s 14-yard reception was good for a first down at the Carver 44, but a combined third down sack by Jordan Doaty and Blanch brought up fourth-and-19 from the 35.
Blanch then chased down punter Terry Laurendine at the 26 after a high punt snap.
Allen started the series with a 10-yard run. Three snaps later, Fenceroy's touchdown catch was waved off due to an ineligible receiver downfield. Unfazed, Hawkins immediately took another shot at the endzone, finding a backpedaling Smith for the 12-yard touchdown. Fenceroy's PAT made it 7-0 four minutes in.
Buoyed by London's 45-yard catch, Carver pushed its way to the Bastrop 24 on its next possession before Blanch's sack repelled the threat.
Both teams punted on their next two series before Bastrop took over at its own 33 midway through the second period.
Allen's 9-yard run with a personal foul tacked on for a helmet-to-helmet hit led to a first down at the Carver 44.
Five plays later, on second-and-five from the 28, Carver's Khari "Duke" Coleman caught a fumble in the air and rambled 65 yards to the endzone. Kenneth Patterson's extra point tied the game 7-7 with 6:34 left in the half.
Smith's 25-yard kickoff return gave the Rams good field position at their own 47.
Four plays later, Johnson made a jumping catch between two defenders for a 22-yard TD reception.
Assisted by a pair of major infractions against Bastrop , Carver retaliated with a 10-play, 73-yard drive. Lynarise Elpheage Jr.'s sliding six-yard catch on fourth-and-six moved the sticks to the 16. A pass interference flag set up first-and-goal at the 8, and Corey Johnson took it in from there, 38 seconds before halftime. Markell Peoples blocked the extra point, leaving the score deadlocked at 13.
Bastrop's next two are on the road, starting with Friday night's matchup vs. Bossier City Airline.