New Orleans, LA (KPLC)
It had already been an extraordinary season for the Barbe Buccaneers even before they stepped on the field at the Superdome last night.
A perfect record in district, an impressive run through the playoffs, and of course, the Miracle on McNeese Street last weekend.
But the Bucs said they were on a business trip to New Orleans, and that their unfinished business was the Class 5A State Championship.
And after those stirring words from Coach Mike Cutrera, the Buccaneers stormed the Superdome field.
A sea of Columbia blue in the crowd as the Bucs kicked off against the Raiders from Archbishop Rummel.
The Raiders, undefeated on the season, and they show why in the first quarter, a 99-yard drive that ends with a touchdown pass from Damian Williams to Steven Dunbar, and Rummel takes the early lead, 7-to-nothing.
Barbe comes back early in the second quarter. On third and long, Kennon Fontenot scrambles out of trouble, extends the play, and looks downfield for big DeSean Smith and he makes the tough catch for the first down, and that extends the drive.
Moments later, Fontenot again flushed from the pocket, he goes deep and look at DeSean Smith with the diving catch! What a beautiful play by the senior tight end for the Buccaneers, that ties the score at 7.
Rummel answers late in the 2nd, after another long drive, Williams finds Cethan Carter for the touchdown, the extra point is no good, but the Raiders take a 13-7 lead.
Barbe trying to make something happen before halftime. Fontenot scrambling again, looking for Nick LaSalle but Michael Kennedy makes the big hit and it is incomplete.
Six second left in the second quarter, the Bucs at midfield and they go for it. Fontenot buys some time and heaves the ball into the end zone. It's a Hail Mary and the ball is tipped and caught by Smith for the touchdown.
But hold the phone. Offsetting penalties nullify the play and the Bucs have to go back to midfield. This time Fontenot can't find anyone open and takes off down field. He picks up 35 yards down to the 13 yard line, but can't get to the end zone and so the Buccaneers go to the locker room trailing 13-to-7.
Early in the third quarter though, Barbe on the move again. Fontenot on the move and the soft touch and another beautiful catch by DeSean Smith. Another touchdown for Smith and Barbe takes the lead 14-13.
But Rummel has the answer. Keeping the ball on the ground and running the clock, Rummel would score three touchdowns in the 4th quarter. Trey Quinn could never get open against the Raiders secondary...
And after the thrill of victory last week, the Bucs experience the agony of defeat in the Superdome.
The final is 35-14 as the Rummel Raiders win their first state title and deny the Buccaneers the championship they had expected to win.
A heartbreaking loss for the Bucs and a devastating end to one of the greatest seasons in the history of Barbe football.