Rams, Wolves offer clash of speed versus strength
MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 18, 1998
EDGARD – When West St. John and Loranger kickoff Friday night in theregional playoffs, fans will get to see a classical matchup – the Rams’ speed versus the Wolves’ size and strength.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at West St. John Stadium.West St. John (8-3) advanced to the regional round with a 26-13 victory athome against Christian Life Academy last Friday in bi-district.
The Rams dominated the first half, taking a 14-0 lead, and answered a third quarter score by the Crusaders with a 30-yard scoring run by quarterback Carl Gauthier. Gauthier followed on the Rams’ next possessionwith a 71-yard touchdown run a quarterback sneak to put the game away.
Gauthier accounted for 234 total yards in the game. Gauthier completed 10of his 19 passes for 146 yards and added seven carries for 88 yards.
Dehaven Duronslet led all rushers with 93 yards on 15 carries. BrianLumar was the leading receiver for the Rams, catching four passes for 51 yards.
The defense allowed 252 yards but only 37 yards in the first half. Of thoseyards, 116 came on three passes from Stefon Lefors to Michael Clayton.
“We played really well in the first half,” West St. John coach Laury Dupontsaid. “The defense played really well and we had good balance on offense. Iwas very pleased with the effort.
“In the third and fourth quarters, we got a little conservative but the sneak by Gauthier broke their backs. The special teams also played well.The effort was really great against a very good football team.”The Rams will now face a Loranger team that crushed St. Helena, 42-13,last Friday in the bi-district playoffs. The Wolves (10-1) finished theregular season as the District 8-2A champions after finishing 3-7 last year.
Loranger returns 16 starters from a year ago but is still a relatively young team. On offense, the Wolves run a wide open attack, mostly out ofthe one-back set although they will go with no backs in the backfield.
Loranger runs a lot of misdirection and reverses as well as bootlegs and quick screens.
The offense is led by senior running back Jeremiah Faust, who rushed for over 1,600 yards in 1997, and wide receiver/running back Lamarcus White.
Ian Sylve returns at quarterback.
The offensive line is intact from last year with tackles Gary Sharp, Jonny Matherne, guards Carey Addison and Joey Zito and center Mele Hagan. Theline averages 228 pounds, led by Zito at 6-0, 290.
On defense, the Wolves run out of the 50 with a lot of movement. Thatdefense is led by noseguard Ryan Martin (6-2, 305) and Addison at linebacker. Jonathan James, John Polson, Marcus Barnett complete the linewith Sharp at linebacker and Faust and Donald Williams in the defensive backfield.
“It is the largest team we have faced all year,” Dupont said.
“The key will be their size and strength against our speed. We want tomaintain the football and the defense has got to contain the bootlegs and reverses. We cannot let them get outside.”The winner of Friday’s game moves on to face either Port Barre or Vinton in the quarterfinals next week.
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