St. James opens playoffs with shutout of Church Point

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 15, 1999

Randy Smith / L’Observateur / November 15, 1999

ST. JAMES – It was the first playoff game for the Wildcats of St. JamesHigh and it would prove to be the only play off game for the Battling Bears of Church Point as St. James pitched a 30-0 shutout in the Class 3A bi-district playoffs Friday night.

St. James (8-2) advances to the regionals to face Breaux Bridge, a 20-10victor over E.D. White Friday night. Church Point finished its season at 6-5.

The game appeared to be a defense battle in the first few minutes of play.

Neither side could seem to move the ball past the other teams strong defensive lines. St. James’ senior quarterback Corey Webster could not gethis running game in gear. Every running play was stopped dead in its tracksby a sea of white Bear jersies. Church Point’s senior quarterback ReggieRay fared no better. His carriers met a wall of black jerseys with everyattempted run.

The game changed, however, halfway into the first quarter when Wildcat defensive back Cedric Vaughn intercepted a Ray pass for the first of many Bear turnovers during the remainder of the game. This particular playbrought no points to the board and the first quarter ended scoreless, a testimony to both team’s defensive lines. Things would change, however,and change soon.

Following a 37-yard fourth down punt by Webster, Church Point’s running back Darnell Meche fumbled the ball and St. James recovered on their own20. For the first time in the game, St. James was in striking distance andstrike they did.

Webster threw a beautiful pass to junior receiver Davin Dennis for the first score of the night. The following point after was no good leaving theWildcats with a six-point lead with 10:34 left in the second quarter.

Following the kick off, Ray ran a series of short pass plays with two tosses to senior back Scott Latiolais for short gains. His third pass wentto running back John Domingueax who dropped the ball on the Wildcat 20.

The Cats wasted no time in recovering the fumble and finding themselves back in scoring range.

Webster threw another toss to Davin Dennis in the end-zone, but with one foot out of bounds it was ruled no good. Travell Steib’s attempts to runwere stopped, bringing up fourth-and-10 from the 20.

Senior tight end Alvin Bartholomew put his right foot into the ball and put another three points on the board for St. James. With 8:02 left in the half,it was 9-0, Wildcats.

It was Church Point’s turn again and once again, Ray handed the ball to running back Quincy Chevis who went 14 yards for a first down. Ray’s nextpass to number 24, Latiolais was complete but then the ball went right out of his hands, hit the ground and was immediately scooped up by St.

James’ Mayfield Joshua who ran 34 yards for another touchdown courtesy of a Bears error. This time the point-after kick was good making the score16 to 0, Wildcats.

With the ball on the 45, St. James’ Bartholomew attempted an on-side kickbut missed, giving decent position to Church Point. They failed to takeadvantage of the situation. Passes to Latiolais were complete but theyardage was too short. Another pass to running back Frank Hanley ended upas a fumble, recovered by Wildcat senior defensive back Mayfield Joshua who scooted another 35 yards for yet another touchdown. With the pointafter good, the score was 23-0 and that was how the first half ended.

The Bears turned the ball over four times in the first half, each time leading to Wildcat points. Halfway into the third quarter saw another Bearturnover with a Ray pass to Anthony Citizen ending up in the hands of Wildcat Cedric Vaughn instead.

Junior running back Montrell Steib broke free on the next play and headed for the goal but was stopped just short on the five yard line, a 37-yard run. Another handoff to Bartholomew ended in a loss of two yards and theend of the third quarter. The score still 23-0.Bartholomew had another shot in the opening play of quarter four when a Corey Webster pass found him in the end zone, with the point-after the score moved to 30 to nothing where it stayed until game’s end.

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