Wildcats keeping fans in their seats

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 6, 1999

RESERVE – The East St. John concessionaires must love the Wildcats. Through the first five games this season, the team has kept fans in their seats until the final minutes. Four times, the Wildcats have had gamesdecided in the last four minutes, including Friday night’s five-overtime thriller against Destrehan.

Destrehan out-lasted East St. John, 57-50, dropping the Wildcats to 2-3overall and 1-1 in District 7-5A. The week before, East St. John defeatedHahnville 28-27 as the Wildcats stopped a two-point attempt in the final minute. The Wildcats had opened the season with final minute losses toLutcher and St. James before defeating Warren Easton, 21-6.”It’s just like the other two games we lost,” East St. John coach RonnieStephens said. “The kids played hard. We made too many mistakes early inthe game that put us in overtime. It never should have gotten to overtime.We made some mistakes in the kicking game, the offense pout the ball down and the defense made mistakes and you can’t do that against a good football team.

“We are running the ball well enough but we are not making the big play offensively. When you make that many mistakes and the kids are playinghard, we are not doing something right and I take responsibility for that.”East St. John will look to get back on the winning track when it travels toThibodaux Friday night to play the Tigers in District 7-5A action. Kickoffis scheduled for 7:30 p.m.Thibodaux (1-4, 0-1) is coming off a 23-21 non-district loss to Terrebonne. The Tigers opened the season with a loss to Higgins beforedefeating Assumption. Thibodaux then dropped decisions to East Ascensionand to Destrehan in the District 7-5A opener.

The Tigers are led by Derrick Coleman, one of the leading rushers in the district. Going into Friday’s game, Coleman had carried 99 times for 454yards and two touchdowns. Anson Dilon, a senior, is also one of the leadingreceivers. Leading the blocking is Nathan Roger and Tavis Allemand. The Tiger defense is led by senior linebacker Blake Trosclair and tackles Jeremy Chiasson and Josh Becnel.

Coaching the Tigers is former St. James and Hahnville assistant ShawnPreston. Preston is in his first year and has a corps group of 25 seniors tohelp provide leadership. Though the Tigers are 1-4, they have takenDestrehan and Terrebonne down to the wire.

“Thibodaux is a much improved team over last year’s,” Stephens said.

“Their kids are playing hard and they are making less mistakes. They havebeen playing everybody close. We have to go there and it’s hard to win onthe road in our district. And it’s their homecoming. “But our kids have been there before and know what to expect, what to do, and I expect us to go out and do our business.”

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