Plaquemine sloshes to win over Rams

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 14, 1998

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 14, 1998

EDGARD – With the wind and rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Francis whipping the area Friday night, the key to the West St. JohnPlaquemine game would be who could best win the turnover and field position battle.

West St. John won the battle in the first half but could not capitalize on itby getting the ball in the end zone. Plaquemine did in the second half,handing the Rams their second straight defeat, 14-0, at Rams Stadium.

In a game dominated by turnovers, defense and the punters, Todd Dupree recovered a fumble by Carl Gauthier in the end zone in the third quarter for the first points of the game. The Rams were held to 27 total yards inthe game and committed six turnovers. The West St. John defense limitedPlaquemine to 101 total yards and forced three turnovers. Neither teamcompleted a pass in the game.

West St. John took the second half kickoff and converted a first down ontwo runs by Brent Poche. But on his third carry, Poche fumbled and HenryJames of Plaquemine recovered at the West St. John 33-yard line.The Green Devils began driving behind the running of Terry Robinson.

Robinson converted a third-and-2 at the 25 and then went for seven yards to the 16. After a 10-yard run brought up a fourth-and-1 at the 2,quarterback Mario Migliacio fumbled the snap and the Rams recovered at the 2.

Backed deep into his own territory, Gauthier kept the ball on first down to the 5. But on the next play, Gauthier fumbled the pitch back to Poche andDupree fell on it in the endzone fore the score. Robinson was stopped shorton the two-point try, but the Green Devils had taken a 6-0 lead with 3:36 left in the third quarter.

After an exchange of punts, the Rams took over at the Plaquemine 45-yard line. Consecutive unsportsmanlike conduct and facemasking penaltiesagainst Plaquemine gave the Rams a first down at the Green Devils’ 15- yard line. But on third-and-9, Siah Johnson intercepted Gauthier’s pass inthe flat at the 11-yard line to halt the threat.

After the Rams forced a punt by the Green Devils, West St. John took overat its 45. Again, the Plaquemine defense held, holding the Rams to three-and-out. Brian Lumar then fumbled the snap on the punt attempt at theWest St. John 38-yard line.Plaquemine caught another break after being forced to punt on the ensuing drive. Monty Migliacio dropped the snap, picked it up and kicked it awaywhile being pressured by the Rams. A roughing the kicker penalty wasassessed against West St. John, giving the Green Devils a first down at the32.

Plaquemine continued to run down the clock behind the running of Robinson. Robinson broke through for a 11-yard run and then picked fiveyards on a fourth-and-1 from the 20. Two plays later, Robinson sweptaround right end for a touchdown from 13 yards out. Robinson then sweptin for the two-point conversion, increasing the lead to 14-0 with 1:02 left.

West St. John had a couple of opportunities to get on the scoreboard in thefirst half. After Plaquemine was stopped on the opening drive of the game,Monty Migliacio fumbled the snap and was brought down at the Green Devils’ 33-yard line. But the Plaquemine defense rose to the occasion,forcing Dehaven Duronslet to punt the ball away.

After an exchange of punts, West St. John was back in business again asPendarvis Morris recovered a fumble by Jules Blanchard at the Plaquemine 5-yard line. But after an illegal participation penalty by Plaquemine putthe ball at the 3, Gauthier fumbled while attempting to pass with Gilbert Lewis recovering for the Rams at the 10. Gauthier then tried to pass intothe end zone but Siah Johnson stepped in front of it to make the interception.

The defenses continued to dominate as the second quarter opened. TheRams picked up the initial first down of the game at the 7:09 mark of the quarter on a 7-yard pickup by Poche. But another fumble forced the Ramsto punt the ball away.

West St. John got the ball back two plays later as Robinson fumbled andDonriel Louis recovered for the Rams at the Green Devils’ 20-yard line. Butagain Plaquemine held, forcing Gauthier to throw incomplete on fourth down.

After Clint Walker recovered a fumble by Gauthier, Blanchard picked up Plaquemine’s only first down of the half on a 11-yard run on the second- to-last play of the second quarter. Plaquemine had 30 total yards in thehalf while West St. John had 14.Poche led the Rams with 36 yards on 14 carries. Robinson had 66 yards on32 carries.

West St. John travels to White Castle next Friday night. Plaquemine, whichimproved to 1-1 on the season, travels to Morgan City.

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