Cats honor Williams, claim second place

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2000

ERIK SANZENBACH / L’Observateur / October 28, 2000

LAPLACE – The spirit of Rashad Williams seemed to inspire the East St. JohnWildcats as they literally rolled over the South Terrebonne Gators 49-14 Friday night.

Before the game, in an emotion-filled ceremony, St. John Parish SchoolSuperintendent Chris Donaldson and East St. John High principal Debra Schumgave the framed jersey of Williams to the Williams’ family. Rashad, adefensive lineman for the Wildcats, died in August in a swimming pool accident while at a football camp in Thibodaux.

Mr. and Mrs. Williams accepted the jersey at mid-field and then gave it backto the school to be hung in the trophy case of East St. John High. Rashad’snumber 79 was also printed in big bold letters on the 50-yard line.

The ceremony gave the East St. John team an extra boost as they totallydominated the game. Running back Chuckie Burl had another spectacularevening with 21 carries for 160 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback,Darwin Pittman threw 11 completions in 15 attempts for 161 yards and four touchdowns.

The Wildcats had 409 total offensive yards while the Gators could only manage 141 yards. East St. John had 19 first downs and South Terrebonehad eight. The Gator quarterback, Brennin Sevin, could only connect once infour attempts for nine yards and one interception.

The Wildcat offense was so efficient that they never had a third down until the middle of the second quarter and they didn’t get their first fourth down until near the end of the game.

East St. John got the ball first on their 21-yard game and behind the runningof Burl, moved the ball down to the Gator 6-yard line where Wade Walker got a 6-yard pass from Pittman for the first score of the evening. After a goodpoint after, the Wildcats went on top 7-0 and didn’t look back for the rest of the game.

The Gators punted away after four downs and then three plays later, Pittman hit Walker again for a 48-yard touchdown. A good point-after kickand the Wildcats widened the lead to 14-0.

On the first play after the kick-off, Gator running back Justin Verdin fumbled and Wildcat Jonas Jones recovered on the South Terrebone 20-yard line. Fiveplays later, Brandon Mason ran it in for a 3-yard touchdown. With 1:04 left inthe quarter, the Wildcats stayed ahead, 21-0.

The second quarter saw the Gators fall short as Verdin could not break through the Wildcat defensive line. East St. John got the ball back on their 31after a punt, and despite three penalties , and some slow running, the Wildcats managed to score again with a 16-yard pass from Pittman to wide receiver Raydel Patterson. With 7:43 left in the first half, the Wildcats tooka commanding 28-0 lead.

The Gators somehow managed to get their second wind after the kick-off and starting on their own 37, they ran the ball down the field behind the running of Verdin, Tyler Hebert and William Lyons. They got down to theWildcats’ 3-yard line and Verdin ran it in for Terrebone’s first score of the evening. The Wildcats blocked the point-after kick and with 30 seconds leftin the first half, the score was 28-6.

At the start of the second half, the Gators didn’t look any better after a rest. On a first-and-10 play from their own 46, Sevin was caught bydefensive lineman, Ricky Nevers. Sevin fumbled the ball and Neversrecovered for the Wildcats.

Five plays later, Burl ran one yard for his only touchdown of the game. Agood extra point and the Wildcats’ lead stretched out to 35-6.

Terrebone tried to move the ball again, but two illegal motion penalties forced them to punt, and East St. John took over on the South Terrebone48-yard line.

The Wildcats ended the third quarter knocking on the door of the Gators at the 4-yard line. On the very first play of the fourth quarter, tight end LouisGardner ran it in for a touchdown. The Wildcats started out the fourthquarter with an impressive and unstoppable lead of 42-6.

Because of a Wildcat face mask penalty on the kickoff, the Gators started out the next series of plays in Wildcat territory. However, they could notturn things around and they had to punt.

However, with new Wildcat quarterback Chance Blank, East St. John seemedto mis-fire and they gave the ball over to the Gators on downs on their own 45-yard line.

Lyons ran 33 yards for a first down, and then Hebert made a brilliant cut back against the grain and ran 20 yards for the Gators’ last score of the evening. Lyons ran it in for a two point conversion and Terrebone closed thegap to 42-14 On the next series of downs, the Wildcats started on the 50-yard line and behind the solid running of Tremaine Moore and Chad Henry, the ball moved to the 36-yard line. Henry than bulled his way 36 yards for the final Wildcatscore of the evening. With a good extra point, the score was 49-14 andremained that way for the rest of the game, despite Terrebone being intercepted once and East St. John losing a fumble to the Gators.East St. John now moves up to second place in District 7-5A and a berth inthe playoffs with a 4-1 district record and a 7-2 overall record.

The Wildcats finish the season next week by playing district rival South Lafourche in Galliano.

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