No. 2 Raiders outlast Wildcats

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 29, 2009



For a half, East St. John was beating defensive-minded Rummel at its own game, carrying a 7-6 lead into the locker room at Joe Keller Stadium.

But in the second half, the second ranked Raiders proved worthy of their ranking.

Rummel’s Amahad Brown set the tone with a 59-yard touchdown to begin the second half to give Rummel the lead for good, setting up a 20-14 victory between undefeated Class 5A foes in LaPlace.

Brown racked up 100 yards on 10 carries, but it was a stable of Rummel rushers that did the damage. Brown, Terrance Jones, J.J. Brown and Damian Williams combined to pilot a rushing attack that racked up 241 yards rushing – nearly 200 of those coming after halftime.

“We kept fresh backs rotating in and made some adjustments,” said Rummel coach Jay Roth. “We didn’t do it by throwing, we did it by running, and that’s who we are.”

Said ESJ coach Larry Dauterive: “I think they obviously found a weakness. We missed some tackles as well,” said Dauterive. “Rummel’s one of those classic programs. And they did a real nice job tonight.

“My hats off to them. But my hat’s off to my kids for the way they played tonight, too.”

Neither team had a chance to get too comfortable offensively in the first half. Rummel’s Marc Raziano made field goals of 42 and 48 yards to give the Raiders (4-0) a 6-0 lead.

East St. John (3-1) would answer by the end of the first quarter. ESJ quarterback Kalen Henderson found top receiver Dhaquille Williams on a deep bomb that went for 63-yards to the Rummel 17-yard line. Henderson would find Reynaldo Young for 11 yards on a third and seven to set ESJ up at the 2. Two plays later, Henderson plunged in on a sneak for a 1-yard score and Marco Barrera’s extra point kick gave the Wildcats a 7-6 lead with 38 seconds left in the first quarter.

The second quarter began with dueling three-and-out possessions. Rummel’s next attempt stalled at the ESJ 39. After a punt, the Wildcats found some seams running Young on direct snaps from the Wildcat formation – runs of 18 and 16 yards helped ESJ drive from its own 16 to the Rummel 29.

But a momentum killer came in the form of a penalty. An apparent fourth down conversion from Henderson to Young – an impressive catch Young made while falling out of bounds – was negated by an illegal procedure penalty. ESJ could not convert again as Henderson’s next pass sailed incomplete.

“Missed opportunities,” said Dauterive. “We stopped ourselves on that drive, and it was costly.”

Brown’s long touchdown run early in the second half made it 13-7.

“Give credit where it’s due. They made some big plays. And we’ve been susceptible to them this year,” said Dauterive.

Rummel lost a chance to make it a two-score game when Raziano missed a 35-yard field goal attempt.

The Wildcats looked to answer via the arm of Henderson. He’d complete four passes for 44 yards – two to Williams, and one to Marcus Robinson — on the ensuing drive, bringing his team to the Rummel 29.

But penalties and a sack pushed ESJ back to the Rummel 48. And on a third-and-long play, the Raiders broke through – Henderson was sacked and fumbled the ball away early in the fourth quarter. Rummel would march 34 yards to the ESJ 18, where Jones would take the ball and score on a cutback run to make it 20-7.

With time waning, ESJ had one last chance. Henderson’s 30 yard, sideline-to-sideline run put his team deep in Rummel territory.

Not long after, Williams would score on a direct snap run, sweeping left to score from 4-yards out and make it 20-14 with 1:38 left in the game.

An last chance onside kick attempt would fail though.

“We battled the number two team, toe to toe,” said Dauterive. “At 7-6, I thought we had a chance to win even by that score, the way we were playing defensively. We’re still a work in progress, but I’m proud of my team tonight.”