Salmen cruises past St. James

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 2, 2009

By Kim Normand

Ponchartrain newspapers

Salmen used some big plays and a swarming defense to advance to 4-1 en route to a 42-12 victory over the St. James Wildcats in Thursday night action at Spartan Stadium.

St. James (0-5), jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, taking advantage of the first of three Salmen miscues, all special teams’ fumbles. The Wildcats didn’t hold onto the lead long, as the Spartans were in front 28-6 by halftime.

After the Wildcats failed to achieve a first down on the game’s opening series, Salmen muffed the punt setting up the Wildcats at the Spartans’ 35-yard line. Seven plays later at the midway mark of the opening quarter, St. James went in front 6-0 as Jaleel Steib crossed over the goal line from a yard out.

Salmen committed a pass interference play, giving the Wildcats a first down at the Spartans’ 20 before Steib’s touchdown. Steib’s extra-point kick attempt was blocked by Chrishawn Dupuy, keeping the score 6-0.

Salmen quarterback Daniel Sams hooked up with senior receiver George Williams with one second left in the first period for a 24-yard touchdown. With Chris Gulino’s PAT, the Spartans had a 7-6 lead and would just build on it from there.

Sams, who threw for 83 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing for 115 more, increased Salmen’s lead by weaving his way 59 yards through the Wildcats secondary less than two minutes into the second frame to put the Spartans ahead 14-6 with Gulino’s extra-point.

Three minutes later Dupuy returned a punt 62 yards to put the Spartans on top 21-6.

Salmen scored again with just over four minutes left in the first half as Josh Adams carried the pigskin in from a yard out and with Gulino going four-for-four on first-half PATs, the Spartans had an insurmountable 28-6 lead at intermission.

By halftime, the Spartans rolled up 195 yards, while allowing St. James just 47 yards of total offense. Salmen led in first downs 8-2.

St. James trimmed the deficit to 16 points at 28-12, as Salmen fumbled the second half kickoff, which senior linebacker Jonquet Smith recovered at the Spartans 25. That set up quarterback Antoine Landry’s nine-yard touchdown toss to Alonzo Lewis.

Lester Verret’s PAT missed the mark and the Spartans still held a comfortable advantage.

Senior halfback Errol Scott added to the Spartans’ lead on a 10-yard run just a minute into the final stanza. Scott led all ball carriers with 176 yards on 13 carries. His score followed his 25-yard punt return and then 30-yard scamper to get the Spartans a first-and-goal at the 10 before he added Salmen’s fifth touchdown.

At the seven minute mark, Salmen drove down to the Wildcats’ seven before losing yards and then attempting a 29-yard field goal, which was the only blemish for Gulino, who hit 6-of-6 PAT’s.

“We did not respond to their physicality tonight, they punched us in the mouth and we didn’t hit back,” said veteran St. James coach Rick Gaille.