Ground game, stingy defense keys in 40-14 District 10-3A victory

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 1, 2004

ST. JAMES — In a showdown between two local Class 3A rivals last night, the St. James Wildcats put on a clinic and knocked the Lutcher Bulldogs from the unbeaten ranks of District 10-3A.

St. James rushed for over 350 yards as a team and its stingy defense forced five turnovers as the host Wildcats cruised to a 40-14 victory over their league rival.

The victory lifts St. James to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in district competition. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, fall to 4-5 overall and their district mark slips to 2-1.

Tremaine Dapremont had a stellar performance last night in leading the Wildcats’ offensive assault.

The junior running back finished the game with three touchdowns and he rushed for 217 yards.

Teammates Jason Zenon and Javon Keller had standout efforts as well last night. Zenon tallied 62 yards on the ground and he scored a touchdown while Keller rushed for 78 yards to help the winning cause.

“We have such diverse threats on offense,” St. James head coach Rick Gaille said. ” We have a good inside-outside game and big-play capability.”

That big-play capability was evident in the final minutes of the first half.

The Wildcats trailed 7-0 after Jeffery Johnson bolted in from 31-yards out early in the second quarter. In the closing minutes, however, St. James took control of the contest.

St. James scored three touchdowns in a span of 2:19, and suddenly, at the end of the first half, the Wildcats found themselves with a 19-7 advantage.

The Wildcats’ offense stepped on to the field with 2:36 left in the second quarter and in two plays it went 50 yards for a score. On the first play, Keller took a handoff and raced 15 yards down to the 35-yard line and from there, Zenon took the ball and went the final 35 yards on the next play for the score.

After a fumble recovery by Warren Broden, the Wildcats had the ball at the 19-yard line and needed one play, a Dapremont run, to take their first lead of the game, 12-7, with 1:52 left in the half.

Finally, after a Lutcher punt, quarterback Antonio Phillips found Keller wide open down the right side of the field, and the Wildcats’ speedster went in 64 yards for the touchdown with :17 remaining.

That was more than enough points for St. James, as its defense held the Bulldogs scoreless until Johnson added his second touchdown of the game, a 13-yard run, with :11 left.

“Tonight we looked like a St. James defense should,” Gaille said. “The defense has played well all year, and tonight we did a good job creating turnovers and gave our offense good field position.”

Johnson rushed for 106 yards to lead the Bulldogs against the St. James defense.