Babin leads Louisiana rushers in Bayou Bowl loss

Dave Rodgers
Louisiana's Champlain Babin, of Donaldsonville, cuts up field as Texas' Bernard Obi in the Bayou Bowl Saturday night. Babin led Louisiana rushers with 47 yards on three carries.

Midway through the first quarter of Saturday's sixth annual Bayou Bowl, Champlain Babin ran around end for 43 yards, giving Louisiana a first down at the Texas 20.

An interception wasted that big play, the Donaldsonville all-stater didn't get his next carry until two more quarters had passed and Texas ended Louisiana's three-year win streak in this game with a 24-14 victory by the Lone Star All-Stars.

"Offensively, we really just shot ourselves in the foot," said Louisiana head coach Neil Weiner. "We had great players. Obviously, I didn't do a very good job of getting them to execute what we needed them to do."

Babin only got three carries in the game, finishing with 47 yards on the ground, just over 25 percent of Louisiana's 186 total yards.

Louisiana's all-state running backs Babin, Luther Ambrose of St. James (2 carries for 7 yards) and Acadiana's John Dean (2 for minus-5) combined for only seven rushing attempts.

Babin's three carries were equaled by the number of interceptions Texas got off Lutcher quarterback Blaine Gautier.

The last one, a screen pass intended for Babin, was instead picked off by Texas defensive end Derek McGahee and returned for an eight-yard score with 3:23 left that sealed the game's outcome.

Just four minutes earlier, Team Louisiana had narrowed a 10-point deficit to 17-14 when Randall Mackey connected with Kentwood's Alfred Franklin for a 53-yard scoring pass.

Mackey, a Parade All-American, was a bright spot for Louisiana. The three-time all-stater from Bastrop completed 6 of 8 passes for 74 yards and both of his team's touchdowns.

He also finished with 28 yards rushing, second only to Babin.

"When we scored, I thought we had a good chance of coming back to win it," Port Allen receiver Damion Dixon said. "But when they picked it off, it changed momentum back to their side."

After passing for 30 touchdowns in his senior season, Gautier was just 4 for 13 for 37 yards in splitting series with Mackey.

Johnny Thomas picked off Gautier in the first quarter and returned the interception 56 yards to set up an 8-yard TD pass from Jeremiah McGinty to Michael Smith that gave Texas a 14-7 lead it would carry into halftime.

Sulphur grad Zach Albin's interception set up the first score of the game - Mackey's 15-yard pass to Bastrop schoolmate Bud Patterson.

But quarterback Braden Smith whipped Texas 80 yards in five plays to immediately counter that TD, hitting Darius Bolden in stride for a 42-yard touchdown bomb.

That's how the scoreboard stayed until Texas' Colin Baker added three points to his team's lead with a 21-yard field goal early in the second half.

Louisiana's Champlain Babin stiff arms Texas' Justin Rogers on a carry.