Bartholomew Antoine “Snake” Bartholomew Jr., a native and resident of Edgard on Wednesday, September 17, 2008, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. Son of Wilhemina and Antoine Bartholomew Sr., brother of Darlene, Bonnie Bartholomew, Tonja Wilson (El

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Sports Editor

A year ago, West St. John had to bounce back from a rough start in its opening game before making its run to the Superdome under then-Coach Laury Dupont.

Now, the Rams must attempt to do the same under Coach Robert Valdez.

Visiting Franklinton scored twice on defense and shut out a struggling WSJ offense on its way to a 24-0 win in Edgard.

West St. John (0-1) allowed the Demons only one offensive touchdown, but Franklinton (2-1) held the Rams to (-17) yards rushing and controlled the tempo of the game.

“I thought we’d be more crisp up front,” said Valdez. “It’s something we need to correct. But, you live to fight another day.”

West St. John missed the presence of All-State offensive lineman LaBeron Thomas, who did not play due to injury. The Demons shut down the Ram running lanes, and when Rams quarterback Dray Joseph had to pass, he had little time to scan the field.

“When you can’t run it, it can make things hard on you,” said Valdez. “It limits your play action passing, and your chances to throw the deep ball.

“They double covered (receiver Terrance) Nathan all night, and (Joseph) had no time to look to the backside receiver.”

Likewise, the Rams kept the Franklinton offense at bay for most of the night. But West St. John found itself in an uphill climb early in the second quarter, when the Demons’ Jaspen Robinson blocked Donald Brown’s punt from the Rams’ 11-yard line. LeDarrius Bickham recovered it in the endzone for a touchdown, and with 11:11 remaining before halftime, the score was 7-0.

Franklinton added a 34-yard Spencer Jennings field-goal with 20 seconds remaining before half, the result of an eight-play, run-dominated drive by the Demons’ spread option attack.

 West St. John held Franklinton to a three-and-out to begin the second half. But on the Rams’ ensuing possession, a botched handoff between Joseph and running back Kenneth Dabney at the WSJ 17 resulted in the loose ball being kicked back into the endzone, where Colby Taylor fell on it for a score to make it 17-0 at the 9:26 mark of the third quarter.

“Our offense struggled all night long,” said Franklinton Coach Shane Smith. “We’re extremely young there, especially at the skill positions. It’s huge when the defense and special teams step up for us like they did tonight.”

Neither team would score again until 6:11 left in the fourth quarter, when Reggie Wilson broke loose for the first offensive touchdown of the game, a 44-yard run that made for the 24-0 final.

 Joseph completed 5 of 16 passes for 135 yards. All of that went to Nathan, who led all receivers with five catches for 135 yards.

Franklinton only passed for 22 yards as a team, but rushed for 196.