St. James trounces Livonia, 53-21

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Sports Editor

No Luther Ambrose. No Gary Davis. And for one night, no problem for St. James.

Two-thirds of the Wildcats’ “three-headed monster” backfield of Ambrose, Davis and Kenny Zenon were unavailable for most of the night in Friday’s Class 2A bi-district playoff opener against Livonia. But St. James still rushed for 265 yards and established a 34-6 first quarter lead on its way to a 53-21 victory.

No. 2 seeded St. James (9-2) will move on to the regional round to face No. 18 Homer.

Zenon led the team in rushing with six carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Shane Grows added 60 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries. Edward Hill ran six times for 32 yards and scored a touchdown on a reception.

Ambrose did not play at all, while Davis carried one time for nine yards.

St. James scored touchdowns on each of its five first quarter possessions.

“Shane Grows and Edward Hill really stepped up,” said St. James Coach Rick Gaille. “Their hard work all year has really paid off. They are guys in backup roles that have played beautifully for us.”

A 20-yard Grows touchdown run opened up the scoring in the game, and put St. James ahead 7-0 at the 10:47 mark of the first quarter.

Zenon would score his first touchdown of the night at the 7:25 mark of the first, a 24-yard touchdown run to make it 13-0. The extra point was blocked. Zenon scored his second touchdown on the next possession, a 5-yard run that made it 20-0.

Kaylon Ester scored on a 1-yard run to make it 27-0. After Livonia (6-5) scored on a kickoff return, St. James quarterback Marcus Dumas answered, finding Edward Hill for a 21-yard touchdown pass to make it 34-6 after the first quarter.

Jai Steib and Dumas each scored on touchdown runs of four and 14 yards in the second quarter to make it 47-6, which was the score at the half.

St. James outgained Livonia 304-127 in total offense, while the defense forced six turnovers.

Gaille said that his players are thriving now after recording an eighth straight victory.

“We have a lot of confidence in what we’re doing. Everyone is able to rely on one another, and we’re improving as those feelings grow.”