Jacks’ rally comes up short at Albany

Published 5:59 am Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bogalusa’s Lumberjacks came close to spoiling Albany’s undefeated season Friday, but ultimately fell on the road by a 27-22 score.

The Hornets led 27-14 with 5:17 left in the game, but Bogalusa responded with a scoring drive on its next possession. Jay Baham completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Sal Pittman with 2:30 remaining, and then passed to Pittman for the two-point conversion.

The Lumberjacks attempted an onside kick, but Albany recovered and was able to run out the clock with six straight runs and two first downs.

“It was a good game,” Bogalusa coach David Roberts said. “We had opportunities to win. We gave up a big touchdown at the end of the first half, and another touchdown where we had them fourth-and-8. That’s 12 points and that’s the difference in your ball game right there.

“We’re still a very young team, and those kids are going to make some mistakes because they haven’t had the experience yet. But I felt like we came back pretty well, and never quit. We gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game at the end.”

Bogalusa fell to 1-7 overall, and 1-2 in District 7-3A play. Albany improved to 8-0, and 2-0 in district.

The teams played to a 6-6 tie in the first quarter. Albany scored first, but Bogalusa responded when Dominique Tillman recovered a fumble and returned it 70 yards.

The Hornets took the lead again late in the second quarter. Albany quarterback Skylier Lehmann connected with Reggie Doherty for a 64-yard touchdown pass, and Orlando Piñeda added the extra point to make it 13-6 as time ran out in the first half.

Albany’s Lehmann connected with Tyler Albritton for a 27-yard pass in the third quarter, but again the Lumberjacks had an answer. Baham scored on a 5-yard run and threw to Pittman for the two-point conversion to cut Albany’s lead to 20-14 with 19.2 seconds left in the third quarter.

Bogalusa blocked a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, but the Hornets scored on a later possession when Devonte Kelly ran for a 6-yard run with 5:17 left in the game. Piñeda’s extra point made it 27-14 at that point.

Roberts said that one sequence might have made a big difference in the game. At one point, Bogalusa thought that it had scored another defensive touchdown, but the play was called back on a facemask penalty. Two plays later, Albany scored again to increase its lead.

“It looked to me that our player did touch the facemask, but then his hand slid down to the jersey. He didn’t pull on the mask,” Roberts said. “It’s one of those plays where sometimes the officials don’t call it, but this time he did. It could have made a difference, but we had other opportunities and didn’t convert.”

Roberts said that his team still has a chance to make the postseason, thanks to their earlier district win over Independence. The Lumberjacks close out their district schedule Friday as they host Jewel Sumner.

Bogalusa’s final game of the regular season is at home Nov. 4 against non-district opponent Holy Cross.

“We know that we still have a chance to make the playoffs,” he said. “We’re at No. 33 in power points right now, thanks to the strength of our schedule. The kids haven’t lost interest at all. They’re still fighting, and we’re still striving to get better every day.”