Four wins by less than one score, a first round bye, and the first quarter finals win in the program’s rich history. The 2021 Saint Paul’s football season will go down as one of the most up and down seasons ever.
Last week, the Saint Paul’s defense trotted out onto the field with a 28-22 lead late in the fourth quarter. But, the unit that helped get the Wolves get to the semifinals could not hold up, as the Catholic-Baton Rouge Bears scored with less than two minutes remaining which ended up being the game-winning score. “I just wish I had one more snap with each and every one of them,” said senior Danny Sears. “Congrats to Catholic, they’re a great team. But I just wish I had one more snap with my family. I love those dudes.”
Whether for better or worse, the Wolves always found a way to make every game a heart stopper. Whether it was a one-score win over Catholic-New Iberia, a last second comeback to beat Slidell and Northshore, or a two point conversion stop in overtime to win against Mandeville, Saint Paul’s season was built on winning in the final seconds. The same thing happened in the playoffs.
Since 2013, the Wolves had a winless 0-5 record in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. The Wolves needed someone to step up to get them over the top. That player was senior corner back Daniel Dufour. In the quarterfinals at Scotlandville, Dufour took a punt return to the house and even blocked a field goal attempt with zeros on the top to force overtime which eventually lead to a Wolves victory. Dufour’s incredible playoff performance continued against Catholic, as he recovered a fumble on a Bears kickoff return. While Dufour kept the Wolves alive, it wasn’t enough to get the win as the Bears squeaked by, 29-28, ending Saint Paul’s season. “I thought we had them at the end. But it didn’t happen. I really did think it was going to happen,” said Dufour.
With twenty-three players making up this year’s senior class, the Wolves will look to the future, hoping to develop and combine their younger pieces into another championship contending roster.
“I never counted my guys out,” said head coach Ken Sears. “We just fell short in the end. We ran out of time. I can’t say enough about my senior class and their leadership, and the culture they built this year. Those guys never quit, and they showed it in this game even in a loss.”