ST. AMANT -- The message was clear: Mark your man when Briggs Bourgeois throws the ball in. Unfortunately for Denham Springs High, the extra focus didn’t make a difference.
Bourgeois assisted on two goals via throw-ins, including one on the game-winning score in overtime, and St. Amant nudged past the Yellow Jackets and advanced to the Division I quarterfinals with a thrilling 3-2 victory Wednesday night.
For the second consecutive season, the Yellow Jackets’ season came to a bitter end in the second round. Seeded No. 9, Denham (13-6-3) defeated No. 24 Ponchatoula 7-2 in the opening round to set up a showdown with the Gators, who beat the Jackets 2-0 last season.
Both of the goals in last season’s meeting came on throw-ins by Bourgeois, and he repeated that Wednesday night: Caleb Cretini’s goal in the first half and Matthew Parker’s game-winning goal in overtime were both off throw-ins from Bourgeois.
“We knew Briggs has one of the biggest throws in the state, so we knew what was coming,” said defender Andrew Finley. “We just didn’t mark our men.”
Cameron Hamby scored twice for the Yellow Jackets, who climbed out of two one-goal deficits before eventually dropping a heartbreaker to the Gators (18-2-5).
Hamby’s first goal came late in the second half, when he headed in a corner kick from Seth Bridges to tie the game 1-1 with 15 minutes to go. After Parker gave the Gators a 2-1 lead with 4 minutes left in overtime, Hamby used his head to tie it a minute later to force another overtime session.
Then for the second time Wednesday — and fourth time in two games — Bourgeois burned the Jackets with his arms. Tied 2-2 3 minutes into the Golden Goal period, Parker headed in a goal off a near-perfect throw-in from Bourgeois, dramatically ending the game and Denham’s season.
“We knew going in their life was on the free kicks and the throw ins, and they made us pay one last time,” DSHS coach Chris Thorne said. “Congratulations to them. Heck of a game, and heck of a game plan they executed.”
Denham executed its own game plan to the tune of 20 shots with 10 on target, both much higher than St. Amant’s final total (eight shots with six on goal). But the Yellow Jackets whiffed on several goal-scoring opportunities throughout the 103-minute game, ultimately costing them a trip to the quarterfinals.
“This might be the best game we’ve played all season,” Finley said. “We just couldn’t get the shots in. We took a lot of shots, but they just went over the goal.”
ST. AMANT 3, DSHS 2 (OT)
Goals -- DSHS: Cameron Hamby 2; St. Amant: Matthew Parker 2, Caleb Cretini 1. Goalkeepers -- DSHS: Tyler Medina (4 saves); St. Amant: Brenden David (7 saves). Shots/shots on goal -- DSHS: 20/10; St. Amant: 8/6. Records: DSHS 13-6-3, St. Amant 18-2-5.