St. James rolls to first win

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009



After five losses – all to ranked teams — to begin the season, St. James coach Rick Gaille challenged his Wildcats to envision what victory would feel like before their game with Brusly on Friday night.

Hours later, that image became a whole lot clearer.

Jaleel Steib rushed for four touchdowns to help lead St. James to a 26-0 victory at St. James in the District 8-3A opener for each team.

“It’s easy to get into a rut from losing,” said St. James coach Rick Gaille. “I wanted our team to picture what winning feels like. We kept fighting for that feeling, and we finally had a chance to feel that sense of accomplishment. I hope that feeling pushes us to continue to fight for it each week.”

Steib kicked off the scoring on St. James’ first possession with a 16-yard first quarter run. He’d add the extra point – Steib doubles as the team’s placekicker – to put SJH (1-5, 1-0) ahead 7-0.

Steib’s second touchdown run resembled the first, a 17-yard scamper that made it 13-0 in the second quarter after the point after attempt failed.

But Brusly (3-3, 0-1) had a chance to take back some momentum after a lost Landry fumble later in the period. But Christian Verret ended Brusly’s ensuing drive by picking off a pass and returning it inside Panther territory.

LaRohn Cambre ripped off a run inside the Brusly 5, and the lead grew to 20-0 after Steib’s third touchdown of the night, a 2-yard run.

“Instead of the opposition scoring right before halftime and going into the locker room with momentum, which seemed like it happened every week. Christian Verret and our defense turn the whole game around,” said Gaille. “It lifted us and demoralized the other team.”

Steib would cap off his big night with a 1-yard plunge in the fourth quarter.

“I feel so good for Jaleel,” said Gaille. “He’s earned it.

“He works so hard every day, and cares so much about his teammates. To have a night like this is well deserved. Any time your team scores 26 points, and you score all 26, it’s a special thing.”

Gaille noted the importance of the win.

“It’s like we’re in the playoffs every week now,” said Gaille. “The attitude we have to take is that every game is a must-win.”