The Bears had rallied from a 21-14 halftime deficit and tied the game late in the third quarter to force overtime against district rival and Class 3A’s No. 2-ranked Eunice.
But after settling for a field goal on the opening possession of overtime, the Bears were unable to stop the Bobcats on the following series.
On second-and-goal from the 7-yard line, Eunice quarterback Trennon Trosclair hit the corner and dove into the end zone to give the Bobcats a 27-24 victory as well as the District 5-3A title.
“This was a great football game,” said Church Point coach John Craig Arceneaux. “With everything on the line for a district championship, it just boiled down to them making one more play than we did tonight.
“They are a good team. They are ranked No. 2 in the state and they’re deserving of a ranking in the top 10. We just didn’t make enough plays.”
Eunice(10-0) hit three big plays in the first half that staked the Bobcats to a 21-14 lead.
The first big play was a 36-yard pass from Trosclainr to Derek Denton that moved the Cats into Church Point territory in the first quarter. The duo hooked up again five plays later, this time for a 9-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
Church Point (6-4) responded shortly afterward courtesy of a 56-yard run by James Bellard. One play later, Devin Ladry scored from one yard out. Kia Richard’s PAT tied the game at 7-7 with 2:42 remaining in the opening frame.
Eunice went back to the air for their second touchdown when Trosclair hit Denton on a 66-yard scoring strike.
Again, the Bears had an answer.
Church Point mounted an eight play drive that was capped by a 7-yard touchdown pass from Brett Richard to Devin Landry. Chance Roy also had a 56-yard reception during the drive.
After exchanging punts, Eunice mounted the final scoring drive of the half that resulted in a 23-yard touchdown scamper by Warren Guidry.
“We blew a few things early in the game and gave up some big plays,” said Arceneaux. “It is what it is. But we know we’re pretty good on defense and we challenged those guys to make some plays in the second half.”
In the second half, the Bears’ defense forced three punts, recovered a fumble and caused the Cats to turn the ball over on downs while pitching a shutout in the final two quarters.
The fumble, which was recovered by Trevor Breaux, set up the Bears’ final score in regulation.
Taking over at their own 45, the Bears ran 10 plays, including a 10-yard pass to Landry on fourth-and-three, before Trevor Breaux hit pay dirt from 10 yards out.
The Bears racked up 277 total yard of offense (188 rushing, 89 passing) on the night.
Bellard did most of the damage on the ground with 18 carries for 100 yards. Breaux also had nine touches for 49 yards.
Richard completed five of his seven pass attempts for 89 yards. Roy had one reception for 56 yards, Landry hauled in two passes for 17 yards, Deion Monroe had one catch for 10 yards and Bellard had one for six.
Despite the tough loss, Arceneaux was pleased with his team’s performance and is upbeat about the upcoming playoffs that begin on Friday.
“We’ve been resilient all year,” said Arceneaux. “We’ve been down in a bunch of games and we’ve faced a lot of adversity. These kids could have easily shut it down but they didn’t.
“In three consecutive weeks we’ve played the No. 6-ranked team in the state (Rayne), the No. 7-ranked team in the state (Livonia) and the No. 2 -ranked team in the state and had a chance to win all of those, one of which we did. So we know we can play with teams of that caliber.”