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St. James steps out of district for homecoming

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 21, 1998

ST. JAMES – Staying focused.That is the goal for St. James this week as the Wildcats prepare to hostAlfred Lawless Friday night in a non-district game. Kickoff is scheduledfor 7 p.m.Friday’s game is the Wildcats’ homecoming so the team has to deal with the distractions that come with the usual events associated with that week. The Wildcats are also coming off an emotional-packed 34-7 victoryover rival Lutcher last Friday.

“That is one of the traps of having a non-district game in the middle of district,” St. James coach Rick Gaille said of the chance of a let-downfollowing last Friday’s game. “It is a concern for us and we have to admitit and handle it.”St. James, ranked third in Class 3A, has handled the season pretty well sofar, with a 6-1 overall record and leading District 10-3A with a 2-0 mark.

The Wildcats have looked impressive against their first two district opponents, outscoring Plaquemine and Lutcher by 75-13.

Against Lutcher, ranked eighth in Class 3A going into the game, the Wildcats rolled to 447 total yards, including 360 yards on the ground. ChadJasmin led the attack, carrying 23 times for 260 yards and three touchdowns. The St. James defense allowed the Bulldogs to gain just 52yards on the ground while intercepting three passes.

“Overall as a football team, we had a terrific outing,” Gaille said. “Welimited their return game. We were concerned about their ability to makebig plays but our defense was suffocating. Offensively, our consistencystarted to show. The offensive line executed their plays and handledLutcher’s multiple defenses. With the game management, all three phasesof the game and their handling of a big game, I am quite happy.”Jasmin went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season Friday, increasing his River Parishes-leading totals to 1,052 yards and 16 touchdowns on 117 carries. He has also caught seven passes for 97 yards and a score.Devon Dabney complements Jasmin with 36 rushes for 226 yards and two scores.

Corey Webster completed 5-of-13 passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns against Lutcher. For the season, Webster has completed 32 ofhis 79 passes for 444 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing 40 times for 226 yards and five scores. Webster’s top target has been ReyWeber with 11 catches for 120 yards.

In Lawless, the Wildcats will face a team that is 2-3 overall and 2-0 in District 11-3A. The Pythians are coming off a 38-33 victory over PearlRiver in district play.

Kendrick Harris passed for 236 yards and three touchdowns in the victory, including a 74-yard touchdown to Tory Pinkney for the winning points.

Lawless intercepted a pass by Pearl River deep in their territory in the last minute to preserve the victory.

Harris, coming off a 990-yard season last year, and senior wide receivers Pinkney and Carles Russell lead the Pythians’ high-powered offense. Upfront, Lawless is led by Blaise Polk, Nathan Wilford and Romalis Jackson.

The Pythians like to spread the field with a one-back, four receiver set.

“They have guys that can get down field and a quarterback that can get the ball to them,” Gaille said.

Lawless had a tough time stopping the run against Pearl River, giving up 355 yards on the ground. The pass defense, led by Ben Bowden and RyanHale limited Pearl River to 10 yards through the air.

Last year, St. James jumped out to a 33-0 lead on its way to a 53-20 win.St. James returns to District 10-3A action next week when it travels toE.D. White. Lawless plays at Booker T. Washington.

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