Quick strike St. James prevails

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

By Ryan Arena


27 seconds is all it took for St. James to be firmly in control of what would be its second victory of the season.

Well, essentially 27 seconds.

The Wildcats scored their first two touchdowns of the game within a 17 second span, then later scored two more in a period of 10 seconds to take a 26-0 first quarter lead at Livonia Friday night. The Wildcats would hold on to a 32-14 victory to move to 2-0 in district play.

The thing I was most proud of was that our guys competed all game long,” said St. James coach Rick Gaille. “We’ve had lulls this season when we’ve allowed teams to get back up off the ground. But all of our guys continued to play, even Livonia they pushed back. It bodes well.”

St. James (2-5, 2-0) got on the board early when Lester Verret scored from a yard away to make it 6-0 with 8:10 left in the first quarter.

17 seconds later, the Wildcats were in the endzone again, courtesy of Dominique Hooper’s 25-yard return of a Brennan Lacour interception for a touchdown.

“Right off the bat, we jumped out on them,” said Gaille.

St. James pushed its lead to three scores with 1:07 left in the first when quarterback Antoine Landry found Kenneth Armant for a 25-yard score to make it 19-0.

Landry finished six-of-10 for 116 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Turnovers aside, Gaille is seeing a marked difference in his senior passer from his earlier play.

“His continued improvement has been a huge lift for us,” said Gaille. “He’s been making solid decisions, and that’s letting us make full use of all of our weapons. Everything’s starting to fall into place.”

The ensuing kickoff saw St. James celebrating another touchdown within 10 seconds. Livonia fumbled on the return and Roman Broden recovered in the endzone to make it 26-0.

Livonia (4-3, 0-2) fought back in the second quarter, scoring twice to make it a game. First, Lacour heaved a 50-yard touchdown pass to Doren Goushot. Later, Justin Mouget ran in a 15-yarder with 4:36 left in the first half.

“Give Livonia credit,” said Gaille. “They came right back at us. But that was a spot that we might have let them build upon in past games. We might have lost control. We didn’t.”

Instead, the Wildcat defense allowed no more points. Landry’s second touchdown pass of the night – to Shaquille Narcisse late in the third quarter – effectively clinched victory for SJH.

Jaleel Steib left the game with an ankle injury in the first half. Verret (97 yards) and Broden (61 yards) helped carry the rushing load in his stead.

“As hard as you have to work on the football field, its important to be able to see the results of your labor,” said Gaille. “For our team’s attitude, its huge.”