St. James keeps focus, tops Kentwood 34-0

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Sports Editor

While a loss to district rival Curtis spoiled St. James’ district title hopes a little over a week ago, the Wildcats didn’t waste any time feeling sorry for themselves.

On Friday night, they took out their frustrations on visiting Kentwood, winning 34-0 in a non-district game at St. James.

Jaleel Steib scored three touchdowns and rushed for 82 yards to lead the Wildcats over the Kangaroos, who entered the game ranked eighth in Class 1A. Kentwood (5-4) is the champion of District 7-1A.

“You always worry about ending the year on a non-district game, and your team coming out flat,” said St. James Coach Rick Gaille. “I was very happy with the effort we gave.”

St. James (6-3) took a commanding 27-0 lead at halftime, thanks in large part to a 21 point second quarter that created the separation the Wildcats needed.

Marcus Dumas was 9-of-10 for 131 yards through the air. Romell Steib rushed 10 times for 68 yards. Shane Grows had 83 total yards, and Rojae Dumas and Alonzo Lewis each had an interception.

“A bunch of different guys really contributed for us. Shane Grows was real effective as a pass catcher. Romell and Jaleel Steib ran it well for us,” said Gaille.

“The very positive thing is that I think we demonstrated we’ve got a lot of depth on this team. That was a concern early in the season, particularly on the offensive line. But even with injuries, we’ve been able to move guys around and have others come in and perform.”

Jaleel Steib scored his first touchdown of the night in the first quarter on a 1-yard run that put the Wildcats up a touchdown. Kentwood hung around though, and that remained the score entering the second.

There, Jaleel Steib and Grows took over. Grows’ 9-yard touchdown run made it 14-0. Then Steib would add his second touchdown, capping a St. James drive with another 1-yard score to put his team up three scores.

With just over a minute left in the quarter, St. James began its final drive before halftime on its own 30, not content with a three touchdown lead. Dumas got his team down the field, completing a long pass to Lewis. Steib’s third 1-yard touchdown plunge of the night capped the drive with 20 seconds left.

“They executed the one-minute offense really well,” Gaille said. “They were able to get us into position without stopping the clock.”

Freshman Larohn Cambre scored the final touchdown of the game for St. James after a 17-play drive that began inside the St. James 1 and ate up 11 minutes of the second half. In fact, if was St. James’ only offensive drive of the second half.

“We went 99 and two-thirds yards for the score,” said Gaille. “You could say the second half went by pretty quickly.”

St. James moved up to No. 5 in the final Class 2A poll of the season.