DEQUINCY — DeQuincy senior Cooper Hext scored three first-quarter touchdowns and the defense made two red-zone stops as the Tigers held on to beat Vinton 41-38 Friday night.
“This was a team effort,” DeQuincy head coach Charlie Smith said. “Cooper is outstanding.
“This was a good team win, offensively and defensively. We have a lot of kids out right now, a lot of kids playing in positions they haven’t played before, and they did a really good job. It is a good win for us. The kids did a good job of responding when we needed to respond.”
Hext finished with four touchdowns, 47 rushing yards on seven carries and 75 receiving yards on five catches.
The Tigers’ defense forced three turnovers as DeQuincy (5-4, 3-1) improved their chances of getting a first-round home playoff game. DeQuincy entered the game ranked 14th in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 2A power ratings.
DeQuincy fell behind 14-6, but Hext had the answer the Tigers needed.
With 1:24 left in the first quarter, Hext ran an end-around for a 13-yard touchdown, his second of the game, to cut the Lions’ lead to 14-12. Seconds later, Vinton quarterback Drew Heinen fumbled while being tackled. Hext picked up the ball and ran it in from 24 yards out and Hadley Cooper kicked the extra point to put the Tigers up 19-14.
Vinton (4-4, 2-2) outgained De-Quincy 252-215 in the first half but struggled in the red zone and fumbled deep in DeQuincy territory.
Down 19-14, Vinton went from its 27-yard line to the Tigers’ 11 in 12 plays, including a 14-yard run by Jordan Janice on fourth-and-1 from the Tigers’ 21. But DeQuincy pressured Heinen into an incomplete pass on fourth down.
Vinton put together another long drive, 58 yards on 11 plays. A passinterference penalty put the Lions at the Tigers’ 18 with 4 seconds left in the first half, but sophomore Hudson Snyder batted away a pass intended for Jaden Carrier in the end zone as time expired.
After Hext’s first touchdown gave the Tigers a 6-0 lead, Vinton swung the momentum in its favor.
Janice scored on a 46-yard run on his third touch of the game and Vinton scored its second touchdown after the Tigers gave them a short field after a short punt. Janice cracked 200 yards for the second consecutive week with 224 yards on 26 carries.
Carrier’s 4-yard reception from Heinen gave the Lions a 14-6 lead with 3:45 left in the first quarter.
Vinton cut DeQuincy’s lead to fewer than four points twice in the fourth quarter. Heinen threw a 26-yard score to Keishawn Budwine to cut DeQuincy’s lead to 34-30, but Gunner Gearen hit Braylon Snell for a 32-yard touchdown with 1:42 left to put the Tigers up 41-30.
Vinton scored once more, with 35 seconds left, on a 12-yard reception by Logan Beard but failed to execute the onside kick.
“That is a classic DeQuincy-Vinton matchup,” Smith said. “Don’t leave (early).”
DeQuincy running back Taije Ceasar 143 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
S Houston710715 — 39
Lafayette61760 — 29
S: Luke Yuhasz 26 pass from Kyle Bartley (Davis kick)
L: Chris Derousselle 66 pass from Xan Saunier (kick failed)
S: Dylan Abshire 5 run (Davis kick)
L: Saunier 76 run (Jacques Comeaux kick)
S: FG Davis 35
L: Logan Spears 10 pass from Saunier (Comeaux kick)
S: Tavyen Grice 10 pass from Bartley (Davis kick)
L: Derezz Landry 13 run (kick failed)
S: Yuhasz 11 pass from Bartley (Yuhasz pass from Bartley)
S: Bartley 1 run (Davis kick)
RUSHING — Sam Houston: Dylan Abshire 4-23, Kyle Bartley 10-25, Grice 18-88. Lafayette: Saunier 14-207, Jason Sam 5-35.
PASSING — Sam Houston: Kyle Bartley 29-41-0—424. Lafayette: Saunier 8-33-0—176.
RECEIVING — Sam Houston: Tavyen Grice 15-19, Luke Yuhasz 9-148, Abshire 3-16, Dominic Myers 1-40, Alyjah Mouton 1-29. Lafayette: Derousselle 2-66, Kavon Valliere 2-24, Gabe Navarro 1-31, Elliot Washington 1-28, Landry 1-17, Spears 1-10.