LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Grand Lake fell to Oak Grove in the Class 1A state title game, 33-7 on Monday.
Grand Lake’s meteoric rise to the Class 1A Championship game seemed fitting this year when we learned to expect the unexpected.
But that doesn’t mean the Hornets weren’t worthy. The Grand Lake defense had proven to be one of the best in the state and for most of this game that was evident.
“We were moving to the ball well and we were making the right reads, trying to fill in our gaps. We pursued the ball good,” Grand Lake linebacker Cole Mott said.
Grand Lake held Oak Grove to just seven points in the first half. A lone Ron Craten touchdown was the only scoring play Oak Grove managed in the first 24 minutes.
The Hornets meanwhile looked to have tied it up just before the break as Conner Guillott hooked up with Kyler Little and Eli Fountain on touchdowns, but in both cases, the receivers were just out of bounds.
“This game, in the championship game, it comes down to small things,” Wainwright said. “It would’ve been great to get one of those catches inbounds right before halftime to even it up.”
In the third quarter, Oak Grove began looking like the machine we expected. Following a Grand Lake turnover, Deuce Clement hit Dalton Allen on their only completion of the game and it was 14-0 Tigers.
What followed was the biggest play for Grand Lake. As Eli Fountain hit Kyler Little for a 55-yard touchdown on a trick play.
“It wasn’t really supposed to end up like that, it was supposed to be a run around and then in practice we saw that maybe we could catch the corner with him coming around,” Hornet wide receiver Kyler Little said. “So, we saw it the first time we went to the right, and the second time I was like Eli be open. So after I saw the dude come down I took off and he hit me perfectly.”
However, Oak Grove would steal back the momentum for good on the ensuing kickoff as Kelvin Holloway scored on the 85-yard return.
“Oh, no doubt. They came out with a great play on this week pass executed it well, got the big play for them that’s what but hallway has done all year just make big place and there wasn’t a bigger one in the game,” Oak Grove head coach Ryan Gregory said.
The Tigers would score on their final four possessions of the game to pull away in the 33-7 win.
While the Hornets feel the pain of losing on the biggest stage, the Cameron Parish pride will be something they’ll always remember.
“None of this was guaranteed, the season wasn’t guaranteed because of Covid in the pandemic, hurricanes they messed up our houses. Really we took every game with granted and we played 48 minutes and made sure we gave it our all,” Grand Lake running back Eli Fountain said.
“The seniors are here I’ve done it all year for us can’t wait for them to walk the halls of Grand lake and talk to the second and third graders about this game and build as a future hornet program like they just set us up for this game is a sign up for the future for us,” said Wainwright.
Coach Wainwright and company said they never expected to be in the state championship game when the year began. But after two major hurricanes devasted their community and turned their lives upside down, they made it and history.