ESJ pitches another shutout

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 7, 2000

LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / October 7, 2000

LAPLACE – East St. John’s Wildcats rolled to a 28-0 win over the ThibodauxTigers on a muddy field, both teams plagued by penalties.

It was the third shutout of the season for the Wildcats. East St. Johnimproved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in District 7-5A.

Thibodaux took the opening kickoff, but Kenny Carter’s squad struggled ineffectively until they punted to launch East St. John at the Tiger 48-yardline.

With Darwin Pittman at the helm, the Wildcats pounded downfield in five plays to an apparent touchdown but a holding penalty nullified that effort. A fieldgoal try four plays later by Chance Blank was smothered by the Tiger defense and Thibodaux took over possession at their 10-yard line with 7:33 remaining in the first period.

Wally Sanchez for the Tigers carried the load to push the Thibodaux offense to midfield in nine plays, carrying in seven of them. The drive stalled, though,and Thibodaux punted to the East St. John 12-yard line with 2:16 remaining inthe opening quarter.

Pittman’s arm pumped the offense downfield to the Tiger 25-yard line, from where Blank fired a successful field goal try, putting the Wildcats on the board with a 3-0 lead with 10:11 remaining in the second quarter.

Thibodaux accepted the kickoff and launched their drive at their own 26-yard line. However, several dropped passes and two costly penalties resulted inbeing nailed back on their own 12-yard line with long yardage. The punt toBrandon Mason started East St. John off on the Thibodaux 38-yard line with8:04 remaining in the first half.

Pittman rolled out, nailed Raydel Patterson on the button and Patterson rolled in for the score. Blank’s PAT kick was good, and the Wildcats sat on a10-0 lead.

Thibodaux’s scramble on the kickoff reception brought the ball out to near- midfield. However, from there, the Tigers floundered and even a faked-punttry failed to pick up the first down, turning the ball over to the Wildcats once more with 5:43 left in the half.

After only picking up three yards, East St. John once more punted, this timeto the Tiger 36-yard line. This time, Thibodaux totally failed to advance, withJonas Jones chalking up a 14-yard sack.

The punt which followed only showed Thibodaux was doomed from the start, with a face mask penalty further frustrating their efforts and East St. Johnwas set up pretty on the Thibodaux 38-yard line.

Four plays later, Pittman again nailed Patterson for a touchdown throw, which bumped up the score to 16-0 for East St. John.The next Tiger possession was broken up when Michael Brown intercepted for East St. John and despite a Wildcat penalty for personal foul on the sameplay, the turnover helped the Wildcats keep the ball for the remainder of the first half.

The third quarter was scoreless for both teams, though Thibodaux tried a field goal attempt with 8:49 remaining. After that point, East St. Johnretained possession, and drove from their own 21-yard line to the Thibodaux 2-yard line before an illegal procedure penalty stalled them out and the Tigers took over on downs with 35 seconds left to the third quarter.

However, Thibodaux was unable to capitalize on it and East St. John acceptedthe punt at the Tiger 30-yard line, with a Thibodaux personal foul call pushing it back to the Tiger 15-yard line.

Even with that boost, East St. John was unable to score after a series offailed passes and Thibodaux took over on downs.

Four plays later, Brandon Brown did his best to turn it around, as he picked off an interception and ran it back to the Tiger 30-yard line. Despite anunsportsmanlike conduct call which pushed the Wildcats back to the Tiger 45-yard line, East St. John drove downfield in six plays, and ended with aMervin Williams 16-yard touchdown run. The play surprised the defense, whohad been keying on Tremaine Moore for the last four plays.

This set up East St. John with a 22-0 lead with 5:55 remaining in the game.Thibodaux’s next possession took them from their own 33 back to their own 28 before punting to the Wildcats. This drive, with Chance Blank in asquarterback, drove in for the final score of the evening when Moore scrambled in on a 3-yard run with 38 seconds left in the game.

In rushing, Chuckie Burl carried 17 times for 109 yards to lead the statistics. Tremaine Moore carried nine times for 49 yards and onetouchdown, and Mervin Williams carried twice for 21 yards and one touchdown.

In passing, Pittman completed 10 of 27 passes for 151 yards. On thereceiving end, Raydell Patterson made four catches for 65 yards and two touchdowns. Wade Walker caught three for 48 yards, and Louis Gardnercaught two for 23 yards.

Next game will see East St. John playing at Neville in non-district.

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