ESJ rolls over Gators

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Sports Editor

The East St. John Wildcats weren’t very pleased with their beginning the season 0-2 after losses to Acadiana and Bastrop.

And now, opponents are paying the price.

The Wildcats evened their record at 2-2 after a scoreboard-busting 69-35 win over visiting St. Amant at Joe Keller Field on Friday night.

It was the District 5-5A opener for both teams.

East St. John rolled up 438 yards of total offense, and entered the fourth quarter with a 62-7 lead.

Todd Muse scored three touchdowns for East St. John (2-2), and was a true triple threat – he scored touchdowns on the ground, through the air, and on a kick return.

After a blowout victory a week earlier, it has East St. John Coach Larry Dauterive wonder what might have been had his team had a few more practices and games under their belt before facing off with two top rated foes to begin the year.

“That’s my only regret, that we hadn’t played a couple of games (due to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike) before Bastrop and Acadiana. We’re a better team now than we were,” said Dauterive.

In addition to the team’s offensive points, East St. John scored on a blocked punt (Deoante Hicks returned it for a 20-yard score), on Todd Muse’s 99-yard kick return, and on a punt return, 44-yards by Reynaldo Young.

“We were clicking on all three levels,” said Dauterive.

East St. John dominated St. Amant (0-5) in time of possession, leaning on its powerful running game to hold the ball for 32:18 of the game’s 48 minutes.

Perhaps even more importantly, the passing game continues to grow under junior quarterback Kalen Henderson. East St. John had 141 yards passing and Henderson passed and ran for a touchdown.

“I like the way he’s moved the team,” said Dauterive. “As a coach, I’m gaining more and more confidence in our passing game every week. We haven’t been one dimensional.”

But the Wildcats have two threats at quarterback – senior Andre Millet has played more over the last two weeks, and he opened the scoring up with a 6-yard touchdown run to make it 6-0 in the first quarter.

Young’s 44-yard punt return was followed by an Alex Singleton two-point conversion run to make it 14-0. Henderson converted a touchdown of his own to end the first quarter, a 1-yard plunge that made it 21-0.

Singleton put his first touchdown on the board to begin the second quarter on a 5-yard run. St. Amant’s Nelson Jointer gave a brief answer for the Gators, cutting the lead to 28-7 with a 36-yard touchdown run.

But Henderson made it a four-touchdown lead again when he hit Muse for a 51-yard catch and run to make it 35-7 at halftime.

Henderson, Muse, and Singleton all scored on runs in the third quarter.

Singleton finished with 16 carries for 118 yards. Henderson was 7-of-15 for 139 yards and a touchdown. He rushed six times for 45 yards.

East St. John ran for 297 yards overall.

The Wildcats now have a new mountain to climb – a trio of district games that will mostly determine the Wildcats’ place in District 5-5A. This week, ESJ travels to Dutchtown. The week after, a home date with defending 5A champion Destrehan awaits. And finally, a road game at Hahnville closes the stretch.

“You never want to peak too early,” Dauterive said. “But this will be the week to start.”