THIBODAUX — Late in the third quarter of Friday's game, E.D. White football was on the ropes — and its undefeated season was on the line.
The Cardinals led throughout the first half, but played uncharacteristically poorly, barely clinging to a 10-7 lead at the break. After a quick touchdown from De La Salle to take a 14-10 lead, EDW fumbled and the Cavaliers returned it to stretch that lead to 20-10.
Maybe it was rust, maybe the Cardinals were tired, or maybe DLS was simply too good. But for a few moments on that warm November evening, it looked as if EDW's magical run in Division II select may to a close.
But then, they came back.
Two fourth quarter touchdowns gave the Cardinals the lead, the second one for good. Although the Cavaliers had one last chance to win the game, EDW's defense toughened up for one final stop to seal it.
E.D. White (11-0) stunned De La Salle (5-7) on Friday night, 31-27, keeping hopes for a championship alive.
Two second half touchdown passes from Jake Sternfels to Paxton Lafont kept the Cardinals alive on Friday. The first brought the game within one score after the fumble recovery, but the second came with just more than two minutes remaining to put EDW up four points.
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On the following De La Salle drive, safety Nate Thompson made one of the plays of the season. Facing third-and-long with under 90 seconds to play, Thompson intercepted a Cavaliers pass and downed himself, allowing his offense to run out the clock.
Offensively, Lafont was the most consistent performer on Friday, catching nine passes for 169 yards including his two touchdowns.
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Aside from Thompson's interception, the Cardinals' defense was led by linebacker Taylor Thibodaux, who led the team with seven tackles and four tackles for a loss, as well as blocking a DLS extra point after the fumble return touchdown.
They said it
"We had to overcome adversity, but it was nothing we haven't faced before," Thompson said after coming back from 10 points down.
"It felt real good," Thompson said of his interception. "But I'm already looking towards next week. I can't wait to be at practice on Monday."
E.D. White will host Teurlings Catholic in next Friday's quarterfinal game.
This article originally appeared on The Courier: How E.D. White football erased second-half deficit to win instant classic