Behind a full moon and packed crowd, the Neville Tigers are once again going to New Orleans.
No. 2 Neville made its reservations to ‘The Big Easy’ by closing out Bill Ruple Stadium for 2014 with a 32-8 win over No. 3 Franklinton.
Those travel arrangement didn’t go as planned early though when Neville laid the opening kickoff on the carpet, giving the ball to Franklinton at the Tiger 35. The Demon offense picked up a first down, but didn’t do much else and turned it back over on downs after a failed fourth-down attempt.
Neville broke the scoreless streak on the offense’s opening drive at the 2:57-mark of the first quarter when Curphey Hardin booted home a 28-yard field goal.
Franklinton was forced to punt on its next possession after two bad snaps, but another ill advised return attempt — this time from the usually steady Kavontae Turpin — backed Neville up at the 19.
But Turpin has a way of redeeming himself, this time by taking a direct snap out of the wildcat and 82 yards later, Neville had a 10-0 lead.
Following a snap over Franklinton punter Conner Ackerman’s head that turned into Neville ball at the 29, the Tigers struck again on a sudden-change big play. It was Turpin again for the score, this time thanks to an on-target pass from J.T. Jackson.
Neville took the 17-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Demons (12-2) came out of the locker room leaning on running back Renaz Wilson and their massive offensive line and marched 80 yards on 14 plays to get the touchdown and two-point conversion.
Turpin wasted little time moving the Tigers (12-1) back down field, and after a solid assist from the running of Juquarius Emerson, punctuated the drive with his second touchdown run. Quintin Guice’s two-point conversion out of the swinging gate made it 25-8 Neville.
Picking up where they left off last week in Algiers, the Neville defense stoned Franklinton its next drive, highlighted by pressure from defensive linemen Zack Walker and Nick Stroud.
Neville came up with back-to-back stopes on third and fourth down at the eight minute-mark that put any hope of a Demon comeback out of reach.
TURNING POINT: Following what looked like a statement touchdown-drive from Franklinton to start the third quarter, Neville took the ball and retook a 17-point lead after Turpin’s one yard plunge.
IT WAS OVER WHEN: The Neville defense stoned Ranez Wilson on fourth-and-one at the 42 with eight minutes to go in the game.
GAME BALL GOES TO: To the surprise of no one, Turpin was once again the point man for the Neville offense with four total touchdowns. Senior defensive end Zack Walker also came through with three tackles for a loss.
NEXT WEEK: Neville faces No. 5 Warren Easton next Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with the Class 4A state championship game on the line.
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