Cats ready for aerial assault

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 29, 1999

ST. JAMES – The air raid warning has already been sounded at St. JamesHigh School.

St. James coach Rick Gaille and his staff have watched films of their nextopponent, Booker T. Washington, and got to see the Lions in person at theirgame against West Jefferson Saturday night. What the Wildcat coachessaw was a team that likes to air it out.

Washington quarterback John Washington was a preseason all-metro selection and has not disappointed this season. The senior has thrown 80times, completing 37 for 504 yards and seven touchdowns, including four in the season-opening victory over Fortier. Senior Byron Dunkly and ElstonHusband have combined for over 300 yards receiving.

The offense has helped the Lions open the season 2-1 with wins against Fortier and McDonogh before a 47-0 loss against West Jefferson Friday.

The Lions use a 1 or 2-back set with three or four receivers on offense. Ondefense, the Lions run out of the 4-3 but give multiple looks with the seondary going out of man coverage. The Lions also try to put pressure onthe quarterback out of whatever formation they run. Junior linebackerRory Dimes and senior defensive tackle Brandon Lane lead that defense.

The Lions have been solid on special teams and have also done a good job on returns.

The Lions will be facing a St. James team that is coming off solid gamesagainst Bastrop and Assumption. The Wildcats, ranked fourth in Class 3A,defeated Assumption, 38-6, Friday night as Corey Webster two touchdown passes and ran for another. Travell Steib ran for 112 yards on 12 carriesand scored twice.

Webster got the Wildcats on the scoreboard in the first quarter on a 1- yard run and then threw a 12-yard scoring pass to Montrell Steib. TheWildcats made it 21-0 in the second quarter on a 10-yard pass from Webster to Devin Davis.

After Assumption scored on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Herbert Washington to Jamall Fletcher, Alvin Bartholomew kicked his second field of the season from 24 yards out to make it 24-6 at the break. TravellSteib added touchdown runs of 11 and 20 yards in the third quarter.

After the boycott at the beginning of the school year, the Wildcats are just now getting back on track, espeically in conditioning. Gaille said theteam has been getting more confident each week, beginning with the third quarter of the East St. John game in which St. James trailed 23-7 andcame back to win.

“We were three weeks behind two weeks ago,” Gaille said. “We are nowone week behind, especially in conditioning. We have made up a lot ofground. We are getting there. Hopefully, after this week, we will be backon target.”St. James opens defense of its district crown next week at home againstDonaldson-ville.

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