Tigers drop Southern Lab for LSU's 7 on 7 crown
Donaldsonville broke open a tight contest against Southern Lab midway through the second half on way to a 41-22 victory in the championship game of LSU's 7 on 7 Passing Tournament at University Lab's Jeff Boss Field Saturday evening.
"For Donaldsonville to come over here and win this thing, that says a lot about what we are doing," Donaldsonville head coach Gary Adkins said. "We are just really proud of our kids and coaches. There are a lot of teams here and for us to come out and win it all, I am just tickled to death.
"The kids really needed this. We are trying to find our own identity. I think today had a lot to do with finding out who we are."
Donaldsonville swept through four games earlier in the day to advance to the championship. A total of 42 teams participated in the event split into two divisions based on class size. Donaldsonville previously had advanced to the championship but finished runner-up.
"We did (think we could win)," Adkins said. "When you get to the finals, anything can happen. Our philosophy is we don't worry who is on the other side of the ball. It doesn't matter what the situation is. We have to execute what we do and we did that today.
"That is a big win for us against Southern Lab who year end and year out has a great team. They have great athletes and I like to think we have great athletes as well."
Quarterback Laine Bailey threw for five touchdowns to five different receivers while completing 23 of 27 passes for 302 yards.
"He is going to be good," Adkins said. "I think Laine learned a lot about setting his feet today. He had some really great throws and I think today is just one stepping stone on his way to becoming a great high school quarterback."
Southern Lab had knotted it up 14-14 before halftime.
"You want to come out and establish yourself early and let the kids play on momentum," Southern Lab head coach Mike Roach said. "Donaldsonville is a good football team. They have great history, great tradition and a great coaching staff. We gave up a lot of plays and they kept coming."
Bailey connected with Jamar Landry for 16 yards on the first play of the second half before hitting Bryant Dunn over the middle from 29 yards for a touchdown. Shaqueel Babin snagged Bailey's crossing bullet on the conversion to make it 22-14.
Brandon Patin hit a streaking Damien Thomas down the right sideline for a 45-yard touchdown a play later and connected with Kameryon Brown in the right front corner of the end zone to knot it up 22-22.
Bailey tossed to Antonio Smith alone over the middle for an 18-yard scoring strike on the next possession to make it 30-22. Babin and Justin Breaux had receptions of 17 and 10 yards on the four-play drive.
Dunn batted down Leroy Hollins' fourth down pass on the ensuing possession and Bailey's 1-yard pass to a crossing Babin capped the transpiring five-play drive that began with three straight completions to Dunn for 14, 16 and 13 yards. Babin plucked Bailey's pass in the back of the end zone on the conversion to make it 38-22.
A leaping Bailey intercepted Patin on the first play of the next possession and Donaldsonville advanced to the Kittens 4 before time expired.
Cardell Brown hauled in a 44-yard pass from Hollins behind two defenders on the second play of the contest and Frederick Guerin plucked a 1-yard touchdown two plays later to give Southern Lab a 6-0 lead.
Two plays later, Bailey threaded the needle to Landry down the left sideline for a 45-yard touchdown. The two connected once more inside on the conversion to make it 8-6.
Bailey hit Breaux over the middle from 5 yards to cap the Tigers' next six-play drive but Devon Breaux fell short on the conversion to leave the score 14-6. Bailey connected with Landry for 17 yards to open the possession and hit Smith for 15 to set up the score.
Thomas leaped to snatch an 8-yard pass from Hollins in the back left corner of the end zone capping Southern Lab's ensuing five-play drive and Brown stepped in front of the right corner of the end zone on the conversion to knot it up 14-14.
Hollins was 11 of 16 for 115 yards with two touchdowns, while Patin was 3 for 6 with 60 yards.
Dunn hauled in eight passes for 92 yards, while Landry had four receptions for 86 yards and Smith added three for 62.