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St. James explodes in second half

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 9, 1998

VACHERIE – All three facets of the game came together for St. James inthe second half as the Wildcats rolled to a 48-6 victory over West St. Johnin the season opener for both teams.

The Wildcats scored 27 points to open the second half, breaking open a 7-0 game at halftime. Chad Jasmin ran for 161 yards and three touchdowns on20 carries, Eltonary Oubre scored on a block punt and the defense held the Rams to negative two yards in the second half.

The defense set the tone for the half, stopping the Rams on their first possession of the third quarter. Brian Lumar came in to punt, but Oubrecame from the left side, blocked the punt, scooped it up on the 13-yard line and went in untouched for the score. Alvin Bartholomew added theextra point, giving the Wildcats a 14-0 with 8:22 left in the quarter.

After a penalty negated a 54-yard punt by Dehaven Duronslet on the Rams’ next possession, Jasmin took the ensuing punt 21 yards down the left sideline to the West St. John 22-yard line. Jasmin kept the drive alivewith a 10-yard run on third-and-10. Three plays later, Jasmin swept rightfor 12 yards to the 2. After an exchange of penalties, Jasmin gained fourand then dove over the right side from 2-yards out for the score. After apenalty pushed the Wildcats back, Rey Weber made a diving catch in the endzone from Corey Webster for the two-point conversion, increasing the Wildcats’ lead to 22-0.

On the ensuing kickoff, Brent Poche was hit and fumbled with the Wildcats recovering at the Rams’ 13-yard line. The Wildcats gave the ball rightback, however, as Jasmin fumbled and Torrian Thomas recovered for the Rams at their 16.

St. James got the ball back on the next play as Chad Smith intercepted adeep pass from Carl Gauthier at the St. James’ 49-yard line. On the firstplay, Jasmin gained seven yards and a personal foul penalty against West St. John put the ball at the Rams’ 29. Brian Batiste then swept right for 15yards to the 14. On third-and-11, Webster kept the ball on a draw andscampered for 10 yards. After Jasmin picked up the first down at the 2,Philip Jessie took it in for the touchdown. The extra point was no good butthe Wildcats had increased their advantage to 28-0.

The St. James defense set the offense up in good field position again onthe next possession. After Ron Becnel recorded his third sack of the night,Lumar had the ball snapped over his head on a punt attempt. Lumar alertlythrew the ball to Duronslet who was hauled down at the 14-yard line. Tworuns put the ball at the 4 where Devon Dabney carried over the left side for the score. Again the extra point was wide, leaving the score at 34-0.Quoon Edwards took the ensuing kickoff from Jeremy Harry at his 14, cut inside, bounced out of a tackle and went down the left sidelines for an 86- yard touchdown return. The two-point attempt was no good, leaving thescore at 34-6 with 9:03 left in the game.

St. James responded on its next possession. Batiste swept right for 12yards and Dabney went the other way for 18 more to the West St. John 42.Jasmin then took the handoff inside, broke through the line and raced virtually untouched for his third touchdown of the night. Quentin Batisteadded the extra point, increasing the lead to 41-6 with 6:50 remaining.

Bryon Keller capped off the scoring on St. James’ final possession, scoringon an 8-yard run with 52 seconds left. Batiste added the extra point forthe final score.

Both defenses held on the first series of the game and St. James took overat its 48-yard line with 7:31 left in the first quarter. Webster called hisown number on the first play, sweeping left for nine yards. Jasminfollowed y breaking through the line and dragging a defender about 10 yards for a 28-yard gain. After a 3-yard gain, Jasmin swept right on theoption, got a block from Dabney downfield and cut in for the 12-yard score. Bartholomew’s kick was good, giving the Wildcats a 7-0 lead with5:47 left.

West St. John began a drive on their next possession. Gauthier connectedwith Lumar on a swing pass for a 15-yard gain to the Rams’ 43. On thenext play, Duronslet charged forward for nine yards into St. Jamesterritory. But the Wildcats then held with Smith knocking down a passfrom Gauthier off a flea-flicker.

St. James began another drive as the quarter ended. Webster kept the ballon a sweep for 21 yards to begin the series. But this time it was the rams’turn to dig in, stopping Jasmin short on a fourth-and-two from the Rams 30.

On the first play after the stop, Lumar went up high to make a leaping catch of a pass from Gauthier for a 30-yard pass to the St. James 49. Butafter a 3-yard gain by Duronslet, Becnel steeped up to stop Jamar Bailey for a 4-yard loss and combined with Tonray Charles for a 6-yard sack.

St. James again threatened near halftime, driving to the Rams 18 thanksto a 15-yard punt return by Smith. But again West St. John held as Websterfumbled the snap on fourth-and-three from the 19.

St. James finished the evening with 375 yards in total offense, with 339yards coming on the ground. Webster had 54 yards on six carries whileDabney added 49 yards on nine carries. Webster also completed 4-of-10passes for 36 yards.

Duronslet led the Rams with 47 yards on 12 carries. Gauthier completedfour of his 10 passes for 54 yards. Lumar caught three passes for 40yards.

St. James hosts Assumption Friday night. West St. John holds its homeopener against Plaquemine. Both games kick off at 7 p.m.

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