NEDERLAND – Luke Broussard and his Nederland Bulldogs refused to surrender when the team seemed to have no chance Friday night.
The senior quarterback rallied his team from a 34-13 deficit in the last 10 minutes. The Bulldogs completed the comeback by winning in overtime, 41-34.
Broussard and fellow playmakers Kyndon Fuselier and Mason Beresford were finally rewarded in Bulldog Stadium at 10:50 p.m. That’s when Nederland sophomore defensive back Nolan White leaped to grab an end-zone interception, ending Silsbee’s bid to force a second overtime.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around what happened,” a baffled Bulldogs head coach Monte Barrow said in a jubilant Nederland locker room. “The will of our guys to keep pushing and pushing was unbelievable on both sides of the ball.”
Broussard grew up plenty on this epic night, enduring three interceptions but never giving up. He completed 15-of-33 for 204 yards and a touchdown. He also led his team in rushing, carrying 21 times for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Fuselier gave Nederland its only lead of the game on the fifth snap of overtime, slanting four yards for a touchdown behind blockers Colby Smith and Michael Marshall.
Fuselier also kicked the extra point for a 41-34 lead.
Broussard’s playmaking and freelancing enabled Nederland to tie the count at 34-34 with 1:13 left in regulation after Gage Driskell recovered Fuselier’s successful onside kick attempt.
The Nederland quarterback scrambled 26 yards to the Silsbee 1 on 4th and 10 at the Tigers 27. Then he sneaked the final yard for a touchdown and tossed a two-point pass to Noah Kendrick.
Broussard ran eight yards and Beresford ran 10 for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in Nederland’s comeback. But those points seemed meaningless until the Bulldogs stunned the Tigers with an onside kick.
“I know that I’ve never seen Kyndon do that, but the ball went off the leg of a Silsbee player and we were able to get it,” Barrow said in amazement.
Silsbee’s blockers enabled the Tigers’ many weapons to run and throw with ease and build a three-touchdown lead with less than 10 minutes to play.
Junior quarterback Mason Brisbane threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns with plenty of protection.
Silsbee’s escorts paved room for senior running back Marquis Dodd, who ran for 194 yards on 36 carries, a touchdown and plenty of hard yards.
Silsbee’s deep threat Dre’lon Miller grabbed eight passes for a career-high 250 yards and three touchdowns. Those scoring receptions were for 45, 62 and 67 yards.
Nederland will have an open date next week before its Sept. 24 district opener at Port Neches-Groves. Silsbee will oppose Texarkana Pleasant Grove next Friday at Nacogdoches HS.
Written by Tom Halliburton