SJH falls late

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 29, 2009



St. James saw a two-touchdown lead slip away and a game winning field goal sail wide left against Patterson Friday night, as the Lumberjacks survived with a 22-20 victory at home.

Trailing by two, St. James reached the Patterson 1-yard line with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter. But Jaleel Steib’s field goal attempt was no good, and Patterson was able to hold on.

“We decided to go for the field goal as Jaleel had really been doing a good job kicking the ball,” said St. James coach Rick Gaille of Steib, who is also a primary ballcarrier for the Wildcats. “If anyone deserves a better fate, it’s him. He’s been our bell cow, really shouldering the offensive load.”

Patterson is the fourth ranked team in Class 3A.

St. James (0-4) led 20-6 in the first half. While the defense allowed 300 rushing yards to Patterson’s Kenny Hilliard led attack, the Wildcats forced six turnovers, including four fumbles. That set up the St. James offense to convert on short fields.

But SJH fumbled away three possessions as well.

“They were all ball handling errors on our part,” Gaille said. “It’s ridiculous to fumble it way three times.”

Hilliard scored three times for Patterson.

St. James’ Kevin Mayho scored the first points of the game, scoring from 24 yards away to make it 7-0 in the first quarter.

Hilliard answered later in the quarter, scoring a 1-yard touchdown to make it 7-6 – the extra point was no good.

Kenneth Armant then scored a pair of touchdowns for St. James, first on a 15-yard run, then on a 35-yard pass from Antoine Landry. That made it 20-6 in the second quarter.

But Hilliard answered before halftime, scoring on a 32-yard run. Nick Nolan’s two-point pass to Josh Jones made it 20-14.

Patterson scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, on another Hilliard run, this one his second 1-yard plunge of the night.

Nolan’s conversion pass to Tremaine Lightfoot added the deciding points.