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Jasmin, defense lead St. James past Wildcats

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / August 31, 1998

BOUTTE – Chad Jasmin ran for over 100 yards and the St. James defenseheld East St. John in check as St. James opened the Roussel’s GoodyearRiver Parishes Jamboree with a 19-0 victory Thursday night at Hahnville High School.

Jasmin finished the game with 108 yards on seven carries and scored twice, one on a 70-yard run. Devon Dabney added 43 yards on seven carries.The St. James defense held East St. John to 95 total yards. Brandon Augustled the Wildcats with 47 yards on 16 carries. The Wildcats also forcedthree turnovers.

The first turnover set up the first score for St. James. August fumbledafter a 1-yard run at the East St. John 10-yard line with Mayfield Joshuarecovering for St. James. The Wildcats quickly took advantage of the turnover as Jasmin took an inside handoff, broke a tackle and went in for the score. AlvinBartholomew’s extra point sailed wide, leaving the score 6-0 with 10:58 left in the first half.

East St. John bounced back with its only sustained drive of the half.August bulled up the middle for 13 yards and then added four more yards on a run inside. After a holding penalty pushed the Wildcats back, FloydSmith connected with tight end Chris Bush over the middle for a 22-yard gain to the St. James 35-yard line.Three runs by August gave the Wildcats a first down at the 24. But the St.James defense then stiffened, forcing two incompletions by Smith and hitting August in the backfield for a 4-yard loss. Smith then threwincomplete on fourth down.

St. James took over at its own 28-yard line. After Dabney went for twoyards, Jasmin dropped a swing pass from Corey Webster. He quickly atonedfor the mistake, however, taking an inside handoff, bouncing out of a tackle to the left side and taking it down the sideline for the score.

Bartholomew’s kick again went wide but the Wildcats held a 12-0 lead with 5:40 left.

Ricky Burdis hit Darryl Stevens for a 2-yard loss and Joshua and Ron Becnel combined on a sack to stop the next East St. John drive. GregGathers tackled Webster for a 6-yard loss to stop St. James’ nextpossession.

St. James halted East St. John’s next possession and took over at the EastSt. John 43-yard line with 46 seconds left in the half. Dabney opened thedrive with a run up the middle for 17 yards. Webster then found Rey Weberon the left sidelines. Weber fumbled the ball but the ball bounced out ofbounds at the East St. John 2-yard line. Philip Jessie swept right for thescore. Bartholomew connected for the extra point, giving the Wildcats a19-0 lead at the half.

The defenses controlled the second half. Chad Smith intercepted a tip passon East St. John’s first possession of the half and returned it to the EastSt. John 44-yard line. But the East St. John defense held and forced St.James to punt the ball.

On its next possession, St. James took over at its own 45, but after a 9-yard run by Dabney on first down, Samson Monica and gathers came up with hits in the backfield to halt the drive.

A fumble recovery gave St. James possession on the East St. John 46 butagain the Wildcats could not move the ball. Both teams failed to gain afirst down on their next possessions and East St. John took over at its 42-yard line with 2:03 left.

August ran for 5 yards and Smith scrambled for 15 to give the Wildcats a first down at the St. James 38. But after a 3 yard run by August, theWildcats forced Smith to throw consecutive incompletions. BennettCunningham then knocked down Smith’s fourth down pass to preserve the shutout.

“I am happy with the play of the defense,” St. James coach Rick Gaillesaid. “The defense never put us in a hard situation. We have big play peopleon offense. If you give Rey and Chad an opportunity and give Corey time,we are pretty effective on offense.”Gaille said the team is further ahead at this point than a year ago when the Wildcats were returning just three players on each side of the ball and were breaking in Webster at quarterback.

“Corey’s maturity at quarterback puts us much further ahead and the defense is ahead of last year,” Gaille said.

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