Fontainebleau (4-4, 2-3) lost its second consecutive game Friday, falling 41-21 to Ponchatoula (8-0, 5-0) due to six turnovers and an outstanding performance by the Green Wave’s star quarterback, Christian Campbell, who accounted for four touchdowns.
“In this district, with the athletes we play against, we can’t turn the ball over,” Fontainebleau offensive coordinator Chris Arnoult said. “Experience at the quarterback position is hurting us. None of our quarterbacks played last season, and when you lack experience, you will go through some struggles.
“Considering we had six turnovers, losing by 20 points to the best team in the state is somewhat of a moral victory. I am very proud of my team, and I believe we gave them one of their toughest games of the season.”
Ponchatoula jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead on a 27-yard touchdown run by Campbell. But on the ensuing possession, Fontainebleau punter Tyler Olivier completed a 12-yard pass to Ethan Cowan on a fourth-and-one fake punt. A 26-yard pass to Brady Morgan set up a 12-yard touchdown pass from Hunt Thompson to Hunter Bastion to tie the game. Bastion finished the game with ten catches for 142 yards and a touchdown, and Morgan finished with six catches for 69 yards.
But then things started to go south for the Bulldogs. Early in the second quarter, Thompson threw an interception deep in Bulldog territory. On the next play, Jakyle Holmes scored a 33-yard rushing touchdown to give the Green Wave a 14-7 lead. Later in the quarter, Thompson turned the ball over again on a fumble, leading to a five-yard touchdown pass from Campbell to Marquis Reliford to extend the lead to 21-7. Campbell then further extended the lead with a 58-yard rushing touchdown.
Fontainebleau had a chance to narrow the deficit with 13 seconds left in the first half, but Mason Blocker threw an interception in the end zone. Fontainebleau entered halftime down 28-7.
The Bulldogs showed some life coming out of the halftime break, finding the end zone on a ten-play drive capped off by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Blocker to Cole Sisung, who finished with three catches for 44 yards, to cut the deficit to 28-14. Blocker finished the game 18-of-28 for 221 yards and a touchdown, but threw three interceptions.
After the Green Wave intercepted Blocker again, Campbell threw a 48-yard touchdown to Corey Cole to give Ponchatoula a 34-14 lead. With about five minutes left in the third quarter, it appeared the Bulldogs had scored a touchdown, but a 75-yard catch by Bastion was wiped out by a holding call.
Early in the fourth quarter, Travis Scearce scored a one-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 34-21. But Ponchatoula ripped off an eight-play scoring drive that ate up clock and iced the game in favor of the Green Wave. Fontainebleau finished the game with 413 yards of offense—289 passing, 114 rushing—but it wasn’t quite enough against one of the state’s best.
“We may have allowed 41 points tonight, but I felt like we made Ponchatoula work hard for their points,” Fontainebleau defensive coordinator Chris Blocker said. “We allowed two touchdowns on a short field, but we still made little mistakes on those touchdowns that we can correct. When you make little mistakes, it can lead to big plays for your opponent; and that’s what happened tonight.”
Fontainebleau will travel to Slidell next week for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday. Bulldogs coach Mike Matherne emphasized the importance of finishing the season strong.
“We have to win our next two games if we want to make the playoffs, and it starts with the Slidell game,” Matherne said. “We are capable of winning these last two games against Slidell and St. Paul’s. But we cannot make mistakes like we did tonight if we want to be in the playoffs. We will make a game plan for next week and give Slidell our best shot.”
Bryce Stawski is the voice of @FHSsportupdates on Twitter. Follow him for Bulldogs news and photos.