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ESJ can clinch second in district with victory

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 4, 1998

RESERVE – East St. John will look to cap off its surprising run to theplayoffs with a win at home against Thibodaux Friday night.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Joe Keller Stadium.East St. John comes into the game with a 6-2 record overall and a 4-2record in District 6-5A. A victory by the Wildcats will clinch second placein District 6-5A and will guarantee them a home game for the first round of the state playoffs. The Wildcats also have an outside shot at thedistrict title, needing a loss by Destrehan and a win by Terrebonne to force a three-way tie.

Thibodaux is 2-6 overall and 1-5 in District 6-5A.

East St. John is coming off a 21-6 victory at Central Lafourche. TheWildcats had a balanced attack, rushing for 158 yards and passing for 157 yards.

“Going in, I thought that we would be able to run the football on them,” East St. John head coach Ronnie Stephens said. “We did a better a jobrunning the ball in the second half. I thought that was a key and we wereable to come up with big pass plays when needed.

“Overall, I thought we did what we needed to do. When you hold a team totwo field goals, you are supposed to win football games.”Floyd Smith completed 10 of his 20 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown.

The top passer in the River Parishes has now completed 70 of his 147 passes for 1,282 yards and 13 touchdowns. Two of his receivers, RoydelWilliams and Chris Bush, are also among the top receivers in the area.

The Wildcat defense continued to shine and is now allowing just 12.3points per game. East St. John held Central Lafourche to 144 yards in totaloffense, including 39 through the air, and intercepted one pass.

Thibodaux has had some rough luck this year, including a 3-0 loss to H.L.Bourgeois Friday. The Tigers were held to 98 total yards with 66 yardscoming on the ground.

The Tiger defense, which has given up a district-high 155 points, held Bourgeois to a third quarter field goal but also gave up 172 yards rushing.

The Thibodaux offense is led by quarterback Toranza Every and running back Jermane Wagner, both seniors. Junior Derrick Coleman spells Wagner. Providing the protection up front is guard Travis Alleman, center Jacob Gros and tackle Matt Rozier. On defense, the Tigers are paced by tackleJeremy Chaosson, linebacker Jason Kern and end Terrance Williams.

A year ago, the Wildcats broke open a close game at the half, outscoring the Tigers 22-0 in the second half, on their way to a 37-9 victory and a second place finish in district.

The Wildcats will recognize their senior football players before the game.

The 1988 graduating class is also to be honored as well as the 1958 state championship team.

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