ESJ skies past Istrouma

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 15, 2009



It was the Kalen Henderson to Dhaquille Williams show on Friday night that led East St. John to a 33-14 victory over host Istrouma.

Williams hauled in six catches for 252 yards and four touchdowns, while Henderson completed 11-of-13 passes for 291 yards and four scores.

In short, the combination was completely unstoppable.

“This is Williams’ first year playing football,” said East St. John assistant coach Ron Barrilleaux. “He brings speed, size, and the ability to go get the ball wherever you need him to go get it. If it’s near him, he’ll go after it. We feel he’s a mismatch for anyone one-on-one.”

Barrilleaux noted Henderson’s performance came after two weeks – including jamboree play – in which Henderson relied more on his legs than his arm.

“He struggled passing the ball in the first two games,” said Barrilleaux.

“This week, we started off with him throwing a couple of short passes, and completing those opened up some deeper throws.”

East St. John (2-0) jumped out to a 21-6 lead at the half, and never trailed in the game.

A week after a tremendous performance against Patterson, Reynaldo Young had another strong week as he averaged nearly 10 yards per carry against Istrouma.

He logged 13 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown – the first score of the night, a 45-yard scoring run that put ESJ ahead 7-0.

Then Henderson and Williams went to work. Williams hauled in touchdown receptions of 53 and 57 yards before halftime to put the Wildcats ahead 21-0 – ESJ scored on each of its first three possessions.

Istrouma (0-2) finally answered right before halftime, scoring on a four-yard touchdown run by Kenny Bell that made it 21-6.

In the third quarter, Williams added scoring receptions of 20 and 25 yards.

Bell notched the longest play of the game in the second half on a 75-yard scoring run. But Istrouma could not close within more than two touchdowns.

The Wildcats outgained Istrouma 488 to 247 in total yardage – the bulk of the difference coming through the air, where ESJ outgained Istrouma 291-37.

While Henderson and Williams gaudy stat lines are attention grabbers, Barrilleaux was quick to point to the offensive line as a major catalyst.

A unit that returned no starters from a season ago gelled on Friday night.

“We were able to send three or four guys out on routes because our line could handle their pressure with five,” said Barrilleaux. “That’s the biggest thing. If you can block with five, you’re doing real well.”