ESJ survives offensive duel with Rummel

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2006


Sports Editor

RESERVE – Crowds all across the River Parishes were hanging on every update from in Reserve where East St. John hosted Rummel in a shootout that included 854 yards of combined offense between the two squads.

But it was the fans in attendance at Joe Keller Field that saw one of the most exciting games of the week as the Wildcats snatched a 41-35 victory after being down by a point with less than three minutes remaining.

&#8220This one was a battle all the way,” said ESJ coach Larry Dauterive. &#8220[The Rummel] quarterback deserves some credit after this one. I went to him after the game and told him that I was a fan of his. So I don’t feel bad for him. He scored three touchdowns on us tonight.”

The winning touchdown came with just :42 left in the game following a Jamaar Cook fumble recovery at the Rummel 19-yard line to set up an eventual four-yard burst into the end zone by running back Johnny Owen for his only TD of the night.

Prior to that, the teams had gone blow-for-blow in a game that included a tie and four lead changes in the final four minutes of play, despite a 21-7 lead in Rummel’s favor after a quarter and a half. ESJ’s lone touchdown came when the Wildcats took their first possession, starting at their own 20-yard line, and scored on an11-play drive that finished with a four-yard rush by quarterback Johnny Thiel. That score tied everything up since his counterpart, Rummel quarterback Scott Buison, had already reached the end zone on the Raiders first possession with a 74-yard scramble on a keeper.

The Wildcats had to contend with Buisson all night long as he scored three TDs, two on the ground where he gained 184 yards rushing. He also passed for a TD and just under 100 yards.

&#8220He reminds me of when I used to coach Doug Flute [in the Canadian League],” said Dauterive. &#8220He’s a playmaker.”

The first half was a contentious one with the Wildcats getting off to a slow start and Rummel taking advantage. ESJ’s first scoring play came on a Thiel-to-Jarrod Sterling connection that covered 21 yards to make it 7-7. Thiel hit Hampton in the second quarter with a 24-yarder to make it 21-14.

The third quarter was the difference maker as the Wildcats posted two TDs, the first on a five-yard pass to Joshuelle Tuesno and the second a seven-yarder to Robertson.

Thiel finished 19-for-27 for 274 yards.