St. James, Warriors continue rivalry
MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 16, 1998
ST. JAMES – Two teams quite familiar with each other square off Fridaynight in Amite.
St. James and Amite have faced each other four times in the last twoseasons. Last year, the teams split with Amite winning in the third weekof the season and St. James emerging victorious in the state quarterfinals.The Wildcats also defeated the Warriors in the quarterfinals in 1996.
Both teams are coming off impressive performances in the rain last Friday. St. James blanked Assumption, 27-0, limiting the Mustangs to 113yards.
The Wildcats special teams and defense set up the offense in good field position early, allowing St. James to jump out to an early lead and playconservatively the rest of the way.
St. James elected to kickoff to start the game and the strategy paid off asthe Mustangs mishandled a punt inside their 10-yard line. The Wildcatsquickly capitalized on a 2-yard run by quarterback Corey Webster.
The defense again held the Mustangs to three and out on their next possession and after a zero-yard punt, Webster gain took it in from 17 yards out, giving the Wildcats a 13-0 lead less than six minutes into the game. Chad Jasmin later added two touchdown runs.”We were very glad to get it in,” St. James coach Rick Gaille said of one ofthe few games that was able to get in on a rainy night. “We wanted to keepthe schedule regular and keep things moving forward. And we were veryencouraged with the way we played.”Amite also pitched a shutout, blanking St. Helena, 33-0. The Warriors heldSt. Helena to 121 yards, including negative 13 yards on the ground. Amitealso returned a fumble and a blocked punt for touchdowns.
Amite (1-0) was ranked sixth in last week’s poll after losing to South Pike, Miss., 6-0, in week one. St. James is ranked second in the state with a 2-0 record. The Wildcatsare led by Jasmin who has rushed for 243 yards and five touchdowns in two games.
Webster has passed for 68 yards and ran for two touchdowns while Rey Weber has caught five passes for 49 yards.
The defense has not allowed a touchdown while limiting West St. John andAssumption to a combined 198 total yards.
Amite is coming off a 10-2 season and a place in the state quarterfinals.
The Warriors are led by running back C.J. Batiste, a 1000-yard rusher in1997.
Joining Batiste in the backfield is wingback Lee Terrell. Brandon Wagneris starting his first year at quarterback and will look to throw to Eco Hornsby. The offensive line is inexperienced with four new starters.The defense is led by linebacker Dedrick Butler. Nate Thomas leads theline while Chris Gordon paces the secondary.
“The only thing that is different about Amite is the numbers,” Gaille said.
“The players all look the same and they play the same. They have terrificathletes. They play a wide-open scheme that spreads you out. They have anaggressive defense that preys on mistakes by the offense. They areannually and consistently a good football team and this year is no different.”St. James returns home next week to play West Jefferson while Amitetravels to Assumption.
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