Bulldogs, Wildcats go after District 9-3A title

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 27, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 27, 1999

LUTCHER – The weather in the area may be getting colder this week but the football action in St. James Parish is about to heat up.It’s that time of the year again – time for St. James and Lutcher to tee itup for the District 9-3A championship.

It’s an honor that the teams have played for for much of the decade. St.James has won six straight titles. Lutcher tied the Wildcats for thehonors in 1995.

This year is no different. Both the Wildcats and Bulldogs come into thecontest undefeated in district play, St. James at 3-0 and Lutcher at 2-0.St. James is 7-1 overall and was ranked fourth in Class 3A while Lutcheris 6-2 and was ranked No. 8 in last week’s poll.Both coaches, Tim Detillier of Lutcher and Rick Gaille of St. James, knowthat this one is going to be a battle to the end.

“I expect another classic,” Detillier said. “They were the pre-seasonfavorites and are the defending district champions. They are one of thebest teams we will face, regular season or playoffs. We have our work cutout for us.”Leading the charge for the Bulldogs is quarterback Thomas Ricks. Ricks,one of the leading passers in the metro area in Class 3A, has passed for over 1,440 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. Kenneth Johnson hascaught 23 passes for 670 yards and seven touchdowns.

“Lutcher probably has its best team from top to bottom since I’ve been here,” Gaille said. “They are very explosive offensively, not just Ricks andJohnson but every one of their skill players. Defensively, we have to besound fundamentally but we also have to make plays. Their offensive linehas done very well. They have stood up to two Class 5A schools, East St.John and Covington and done a terrific job. They pre-(See TITLE, Page 3C) sent a lot of challenges for us. Defensively, they make you work foreverything.”Going up against that defense will be the Wildcats’ usual wing-T offense but one that is more wide open this year.

Quarterback Carl Gauthier has thrown for four touchdowns in each of his last two games, giving him 18 on the season to go with his 1,166 yards.

Davin Dennis has caught 33 of those passes for 743 yards and nine touchdowns. Travell Steib leads the rushing attack with over 500 yardsfor the season.

The teams are coming off different results. St. James defeated E.D. White,32-7, as Webster threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns. Dennis caughtseven passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns while Alvin Bartholomew had a scoring reception. The offense finished with 446 yards, 308 throughthe air.

But it was the Wildcats’ defense that came through. One week after givingup 351 yards to St. Charles Catholic, the Wildcats held the Cardinals to166 yards, all on the ground. E.D. White went 0-for-15 passing.”I’m happy with the way we played defense, especially after the off week against St. Charles,” Gaille said. “The defense made great improvementsand played with a lot of enthusiasm. I’m happy with the way the offensehas falling into place and the way the team has come into place.

“We are very appreciative to be able to play for the district championship.

We’ve made steady and continuous improvement. The players haveresponded with great heart and courage and everybody on the team has gotten better each week. We are thankful to have gotten into this positionand we feel good about ourselves and our program.

Lutcher is coming off a heartbreaking 24-21 loss to Class 5A Covington.

The Lions won on a 27-yard field goal with no time left on the clock.TheLions had been given a second chance after the Bulldogs were called for roughing the kicker after blocking the first try.

The Bulldogs lost despite a 275-yard effort by Ricks. Johnson caughtseven passes for 101 yards in the contest. Lutcher out-gained the Lions,393-251, but had an interception returned for a touchdown and saw a blocked punt set up another score.

“They don’t come any tougher,” Detillier said. “We played so hard and notto be successful and the way it ended. I was afraid of injuries and wesuffered the biggest of them all – a stake through the heart. They were avery good team, very well coached. It was a very exciting game. We wereout-manned but I thought we were a better team and we played like it.

“But we have to bounce back because we have the biggest game of the regular season. We want to be district champions. To be district champs ofthis division is really something. Friday night, we will crown somebody. “It means so much because it’s for the district championship and it’s Lutcher-St. James. It’s the hottest as its ever been. It’s one you want tobuy a ticket and come early for.”Lutcher travels to Donaldsonville next week to conclude the season. St.James has a bye week.

Return To Sports Stories

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

Internet services provided by NeoSoft.

Best viewed with 3.0 or higher