Despite an early exit, DeRidder was able to do some positive things against one of the top teams in Class 4A.
The No. 28 Dragons lost to No. 5 Lakeshore 45-21 Friday night in the first round of the LHSAA Class 4A Playoffs.
"I was proud of our kids," DeRidder head coach Brad Parmley said. "They played their tails off, and we hung with them for a good while. It was a good ball game. Credit to Lakeshore, they have a good team. They did a good job. It's always tough because, at the end of the playoffs, there's only going to be one team that is happy. Right now, we're not happy, but at the same time, we are excited about the future."
The Titans led 14-0 after the first quarter, but a 13-yard run by DeRidder running back Jalyn Thurman made it 14-7 early in the second period.
"With the weather the way it was last night, the run game was a huge positive for us," Parmley said. "The offensive line did a good job, and Thurman ran the ball awesome. Greg (Woodard) made plays like he had all year."
However, from there, Lakeshore retook control, scoring with three straight passing touchdowns and tacking on a 59-yard field goal as the half expired to take a 38-7 lead at halftime.
"They were just good, top to bottom," Parmley said. "They're ranked No. 2 in the state in some polls and No. 5 in the Power Rankings for the reason.
After a scoreless third quarter, Lakeshore quarterback Parker Orvin threw his fourth passing touchdown of the day to extend the Titans' lead.
Dragon quarterback Lane Armer hit Ashton Broussard for a 10-yard touchdown with 6:54 remaining, and running back Greg Woodard scored on a 3-yard run as time expired.
Woodard finished with seven carries for 94 yards and four catches for 55 yards, and Thurman racked up 91 yards on 21 carries.
Armer went 6-for-11 for 70 yards and a touchdown in his final game as a Dragon.
DeRidder will lose 10 seniors to graduation, but Parmley is optimistic about the future of the program.
"Going into the year, we had a lot of unknowns and holes to fill," Parmley said. "We had a lot of young guys step up in some stops, and we're excited about the future. I'm just proud of the team, overall. The goals they set in August were to have a winning season and make the playoffs, and we did both of those."