From the Sidelines

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 22, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 22, 1999

Not a bad way to start a season.

Three weeks into the 1999 prep season, there have already been enough story lines to fill any football fan’s appetites.

You want classic games? The first week alone provided two of those in two of the best rivalries in the area. The first game of the season gave anindication of what was to come as Lutcher and East St. John gave the fanstheir money’s worth. Thomas Rick’s 6-yard sneak with three minutes leftcapped a game that had everything, including two plays out of coach Tim Detillier’s bag of tricks that resulted in touchdowns. The next night, itwas Carl Gauthier hitting Marlon Jackson on a slant pattern from six yards out with 37 seconds left to give West St. John a 20-14 victory over St.James.

A week later, East St. John and St. James would face off in anotherthriller. This time it would be St. James’ Alvin Bartholomew hitting a 27-yard field goal with under four minutes remaining to give the Wildcats a 24-23 win. That same night, Hahnville would hold off a late rally to defeatPonchatoula, 24-19. But a week later, Northside was able to complete itsrally, scoring in the final minute to upend the Tigers.

How about outstanding individual performances? How about Gauthier’s 214-yard, three-touchdown passing performance against St. James? EastSt. John’s Floyd Smith passing for 208 yards and three touchdowns againstLutcher. Roydel Williams’ six-catch, 163-yard, three touchdownperformance in the same game. Hahnville’s Dawan Landry throwing forthree touchdowns in each of the first two games. In week two, CoreyWebster had three touchdowns against East St. John. Riverside’s CaseyRemondet slicing through Landry for 259 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Nick Monica of St. Charles Catholic rushing for 169 yards againstGrace King. And Gauthier having his second straight three touchdownperformance and adding a rushing touchdown. He would make it threeweeks in a row with three against Bourgeois Friday.

The first three weeks have shown the importance of defense and special teams. Destrehan pitched two shutouts in the first two weeks.Ponchatoula would end the Wildcats’ winning streak with the help of a faked punt. A blocked punt and an interception return by Bernard Rileyhelped Lutcher defeat Vandebilt in week two.

Unfortunately every season will see its share of injuries. West St. John’sDonriel Louis missed the first two games of the season after spraining an ankle in the jamboree. East St. John’s Smith separated his shoulderagainst St. James. Riverside’s Remondet missed the second half againstVandebilt. But all these teams have found ways to overcome thoseinjuries.

Story lines? How about Hahnville winning its first two games after winning but one last season? Lutcher defeating two ranked teams – East St. John and Capitol. St. James bouncing back from a boycott to defeatsecond-ranked Bastrop 35-0 Friday. St. Charles Catholic playing anddefeating its first Class 5A school, Grace King.

Riverside scoring 134 points in the first three weeks. West St. John,usually a slow starter, opening 3-0 and being ranked No. 1 in Class 2A.Both teams could very well be undefeated when they meet in a couple of weeks.

If the season continues as it has so far, November and December should be fun in the River Parishes.

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