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Lumar helps Rams roll past Eagles

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 2, 1998

EDGARD – Brian Lumar caught a pass for a touchdown, threw for another and returned a punt for a third as West St. John clinched the second seedin District 9-2A with a 32-10 Homecoming victory over Ridgewood Friday night.

West St. John, at 6-3 overall and 3-1 in District 9-2A, can share thedistrict title with Riverside if the Rebels lose to St. Martin’s next Friday. West St. John closes out its regular season with a non-district home gameagainst Ellender Friday.

Ridgewood dropped its second straight game to fall to 5-3 overall and 1-2 in district play. The Eagles end the season at St. Charles Catholic.Both teams opened the game by driving into the other’s half of the field on their first possessions. But both teams saw those drives end with sacks.West St. John opened its second possession at its 39-yard line. CarlGauthier opened the drive by hitting Dehaven Duronslet for a 14-yard gain along the left sideline. Troy Lagrange then carried for 9 yards on a reverseto the Ridgewood 36-yard line.

On second-and-9 from the 35, Gauthier faked a handoff and threw to Lumar behind his defender on the left sideline. Lumar caught the ball in strideand went down the sideline for the score. After Duronslet’s run for thetwo-point conversion was negated by a penalty, Gauthier connected with Donriel Louis in the left side of the end zone, giving the Rams an 8-0 lead with 1:06 remaining in the first quarter.

The Rams forced Ridgewood to force on its ensuing possession. Lumar ranin take the punt at the Eagles’ 48-yard line, swept to the right side, went down the sidelines before cutting in at the 5 to avoid the punter and taking it in the end zone. Jamar Bailey was stopped on the try for two, butWest St. John led 14-0 with 11:43 left in the half.With 5:10 left in the half, Pendarvis Morris recovered a failed “fumblerooski” attempt by the Eagles at the Ridgewood 43-yard line. An18-yard sweep by Duronslet and a 17-yard pass from Gauthier to Lagrange gave the Rams a first down at the 4-yard line.

An illegal procedure call and a sack pushed the Rams back to the 16-yard line. On fourth down from that point, Gauthier tossed a lateral to Lumar. Lumar pulled up and lofted pass to Bailey who out-jumped two defenders in the back left corner of the end zone for the score with 1:19 left in the half. Duronslet was stopped on the two-point attempt but the Rams took a20-0 lead into the break.

The Rams defense held Ridgewood to negative seven yards for the half.

Jason Keyes, one of the top rushers in the metro area, was held to 19 yards on 14 carries.

West St. John kept up the pressure in the second half after starting itsfirst possession at its 17-yard line. Gauthier connected with Lagrange fora 22-yard gain on the second play of the series to the Rams’ 38.

Bailey then swept right for 8 yards and caught a 12-yard pass from Gauthier, giving the Rams a first down at the Ridgewood 34. Duronsletfollowed with a 12-yard gain to the 22.

On the following play, Bailey swept left, reversed his field and went in for the score. Gauthier’s pass on the two-point attempt was incomplete,leaving the score 26-0 with 8:43 left in the third quarter.

Ridgewood finally got its offense in gear on its next possession. Facing asecond-and-21 from the Ridgewood 30-yard line after a sack by Kip Howard, Keyes broke through the middle of the line for a 27-yard gain.

Three plays later, Eric Vinterella caught a Keith Champagne pass at his knees for a 23-yard gain to the Rams’ 15-yard line. Champagne thenconnected with Ryan Zimmerman on a post pattern for the score. JohnathanRuffin added the extra point to cut the deficit to 26-7 with five minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Ridgewood got its offense rolling again on its next possession. Champagnescrambled and hit Keyes for a 13-yard gain to keep the drive alive on third-and-8 from the West St. John 49-yard line. The Eagles drove to the 26 before West St. John stiffened. Ruffin came into attempt a 43-yard field gaol, knocking it between the uprights to make the score 26-10 with 10:59 left in the game.

But West St. John answered with the knockout blow on its ensuingpossession. Facing second-and-23 from the Rams 14-yard line afterconsecutive penalties, Gauthier threw deep for Louis on the right sideline.

Louis out-leapt his defender for the ball at the Rams’ 40, broke the tackle and cruised the rest of the way to complete the 86-yard scoring strike.

The two-point attempt failed but the Rams had increased the lead to 32- 10 with 9:30 left in the game.

Ridgewood came back on its next drive to move to the West St. John 10-yard line thanks to a 31-yard gain by Keyes. But the Eagles again fumbledon the fumblerooski and Morris was again the man on the spot, recovering the ball at the West St. John 10-yard line.Ridgewood got the ball back on its final possession at the Rams’ 18-yard line after tipping a Bailey punt with 2:17 left. But after the Eagles haddriven to the 4-yard line, Howard recovered a fumble by Champagne as he tried to get off the final play of the game.

The Rams held the Eagles to 159 total yards. Keyes gained 110 yards on 24carries. Champagne, pressured the whole evening, completed 4 of his 14passes for 57 yards. Morris, Howard, Jagen Lewis, Michael Lewis and JagenAugust combined to sack Champagne six times.

The Rams offense gained 381 total yards. Bailey carried 11 times for 69yards and Duronslet added 54 yards on nine carries as the Rams gained 119 yards on the ground.

Gauthier completed 11 of his 17 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. Louis caught four passes for 107 yards while Bailey had threecatches for 48 yards.

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