Wildcats hand St. Amant first loss

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009



East St. John coach Larry Dauterive simply hoped his team would be rounding into respectability at this time of the year, showing signs of a rebuilding process gone right.

What he’s got instead is a ranked team, and a contender to win perhaps the toughest 5A district in Louisiana.

East St. John busted into the Class 5A top 10 rankings after a dominating victory over previously undefeated St. Amant at Joe Keller Stadium Friday night, 53-21.

ESJ quarterback Kalen Henderson accounted for five touchdowns – one passing, four rushing. Henderson completed 10-of-16 passes for 245 yards, and ran 10 times for 73 yards.

“No question, this is the best football he’s played,” said East St. John coach Larry Dauterive of his senior quarterback. “In all fairness, he shouldn’t have started as a sophomore. He got his brains beat out, and the same last year against the best teams in the state. But he’s become a 5A quarterback – he’s mastering this offense.”

Darian Monroe recovered two fumbles and notched an interception for the Wildcats in the victory.

East St. John (5-1, 1-0) more than doubled up the Gators in total yardage – 530 to 250 – and led 46-7 at halftime.

“It was a sterling performance by our offense,” said Dauterive.

The Wildcats broke loose early, scoring on the game’s first possession. Reynaldo Young’s 52-yard run on the fourth play of the game set up a 1-yard Henderson touchdown run to make it 7-0 at the 9:11 mark of the first quarter.

With 5:10 remaining in the first, ESJ struck again via special teams. After fielding a Gator punt, Dhaquille Williams scored the Wildcats’ first touchdown on a punt return since the team’s win over St. Amant a year ago. The 62-yard return made it 13-0.

Williams struck again at the 1:05 mark of the first, hauling in a 30-yard score from Henderson to make it 19-0.

He’d finish with four catches for 110 yards.

“He’s been the find of the century for us,” said Dauterive.

“He’s a game breaker. We just need to put it close to him.”

Things began to spiral out on control for St. Amant, which fumbled away the ball on its next possession.

Monroe recovered, and Reynaldo Young scored on a 6-yard run. Henderson connected with Williams for the two-point conversion to push the lead to 27-0 in the second quarter.

From there, it was the Kalen Henderson show. He would score three more rushing touchdowns before halftime. DeChris Strong would add another in the third quarter.

Quarterback Tyler Guillory scored two second half rushing touchdowns for St. Amant (5-1, 0-1)

Young rushed for 138 yards on 16 carries.

“I’m really surprised at where we are,” said Dauterive. “The pieces are just starting to fall together.”