Shaw holds off ESJ

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 19, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / May 19, 2000

RESERVE – East St. John showed flashes of its offensive explosions of thepast in its annual Spring Game against Archbishop Shaw Thursday night at Joe Keller Stadium.

The Wildcats scored on passes of 63, 45 and 22 yards in the contest. Shawscored on two long pass plays of its own in the third and fourth quarters to pull out a 28-22 win.

East St. John got the first scoring opportunity of the game as Bryson Whiterecovered a fumble on the Shaw 36-yard line on the Eagles’ opening possession. But the Eagles held the Wildcats on downs at the 31. Shaw thenwent on a 69-yard drive, capped by a 24-yard scoring run. The point afterwas blocked, leaving the score at 6-0 with 1:56 left in the first quarter.

After stopping East St. John on downs at its own 43, Shaw took over andagain went down the field. A 17-yard touchdown pass capped the drive. Thetry for two was good, increasing the Eagles’ lead to 14-0.

Both teams would be stopped on their ensuing possessions. Brandon Brownthen grabbed an interception at the Wildcats’ 15-yard line, ending the Eagles’ last scoring opportunity of the half with 4.9 seconds left.East St. John quickly cut into the deficit at the start of the second half.From the Wildcats’ 37-yard line, Chance Blank threw a pass over the middle to Darwin Pittman. Pittman bounced out of a tackle, cut left and went downthe left sidelines for the score. Blank added the extra point, making it 14-7with 11:15 left in the third quarter.

After holding the Eagles on their first possession of the half, the Wildcats moved the ball down to the Shaw 45. Blank then threw a pass to LouisGardner on the left sideline that was deflected to Mervin Williams. Williamswent down the left sidelines, getting inside the pylon to complete the 45-yard scoring play. Blank added the extra point, tying the score at 14 with 1:52left in the quarter.

Shaw quickly came back, scoring on a 65-yard touchdown pass on its next possession. After holding the Wildcats with an interception at the Shaw 10-yard line, the Eagles scored on a 90-yard bomb to take a 28-14 lead with 10:29 left in the game.

Each team was stopped on its next two drives with Brandon Mason ending one Shaw drive with an interception at the East St. John 46-yard line.Williams took the Wildcats on a scoring drive in the final minute, capping it by finding Gardner in the back of the end zone from 22 yards out. Adam Brownswept around the left side for the two-point conversion, making it 28-22 with 10.4 seconds left.”The mistakes we made tonight are correctable mistakes,” East St. Johncoach Ronnie Stephens said. “They were mistakes we can correct in August.We played a lot better in the second half. We were more aggressive onoffense and defense. Overall, I’m pleased.”As for who will start at quarterback, Stephens said a decision on that will not be made until the team gets back from camp.

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