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St. James making fast starts a specialty

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 18, 1998

ST. JAMES – Fast starts are becoming the speciality of the St. JamesWildcats this season.

The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 139-20 in the first quarter and 254-35 in the first half this season.

That trend continued in St. James’ bi-district playoff game against Cecilialast Friday as the Wildcats jumped out to a 35-0 lead at halftime on its way to a 55-12 victory. St. James, 10-1 overall, advanced to host BelleChasse in the regional playoffs Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7p.m.Corey Webster and Chad Jasmin combined to score seven touchdowns for the Wildcats. Jasmin had 244 yards and four touchdowns on 22 carrieswhile Webster reached the end zone three times and ran for 51 yards on six attempts. Webster also completed 4 of his 6 passes for 57 yards asthe Wildcats rolled up 434 yards in offense.

The St. James defense held Cecilia to 179 yards in offense and interceptedfour passes, two by Derrick Gros. Cecilia’s only touchdowns came in thefourth quarter, one on a 4-yard run and the other on a 65-yard interception return.

This week, St. James will face a familiar playoff opponent in BelleChasse. The Wildcats defeated the Cardinals, 68-14, in the bi-districtplayoffs a year ago as Jasmin ran for five touchdowns.

Belle Chasse returns eight starters from that squad. The Cardinals (7-2),the District 11-3A runners-up, advanced to the regionals with a 22-12 victory Kaplan.

Belle Chasse forced six turnovers, intercepting four passes and held Kaplan to 28 yards through the air. Shane Shelley threw two touchdownpasses and Eric Wallace ran 68 yards for a score in the third quarter for the Cardinals’ points.

The Cardinals’ strong point is their defense which returns Joel Hebert at tackle, Neil Neyrey at end and linebacker Jason Leonard. Wallace andfullback Brad Stanifer lead a strong rushing attack. Both were among theleading rushers in the metro area in Class 3A during the regular season, Wallace with 585 yards and three touchdowns on 98 carries and Stanifer with 362 yards and four scores on 93 attempts.

Friday’s winner advances to play the winner of the Breaux Bridge- Plaquemine game next week in the state quarterfinals.

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