Rams sustain turnovers, beat EI

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009



It wasn’t pretty.

But all that matters is that West St. John rolled along to a second district victory on Friday night, topping District 8-1A foe East Iberville 27-6 at East Iberville.

The Tigers (2-4, 0-2) entered the game as heavy underdogs to WSJ, but hung around for much of the game largely due to its ability to generate turnovers – the Rams (4-3, 2-0) fumbled 10 times and lost five, while two passes were intercepted.

“When you turn it over seven times, you’re not supposed to win,” said West St. John coach Robert Valdez. “I’m happy that we won, but not with the uncharacteristic mistakes that we made.”

Adverse weather conditions no doubt played a role in the fumbling on a wet Friday night, but West St. John coach Robert Valdez says its no excuse.

“It was a sloppy, wet field, but we’ve played in those conditions already this year, and we need to be able to play in those conditions,” said Valdez. “We’ve got to eliminate some of those errors.”

But defensively, the Rams made sure that East Iberville would have little luck cashing in on those turnovers. WSJ held East Iberville to 110 total yards, forced four turnovers, and successfully defended a number of short fields.

“The defense was lights out again,” said Valdez. “It gave up one score, and otherwise just took care of business. It’s good to know we can rely on that factor consistently.”

Kenneth Dabney finished with 154 total yards – 94 on the ground – and a touchdown.

176 of the Rams’ 230 yards came on the ground.

“We ran effectively. We just couldn’t get the pass jumpstarted,” said Valdez.

East Iberville jumped out ahead early, scoring on a 38-yard pass from Brandon James to Mitchell Johnson, making it 6-0 in the second quarter.

West St. John jumped ahead though when Dabney scored on a 10-yard run, then added a two-point conversion run to make it 8-6 in the second quarter.

Perhaps the biggest shift in momentum came before halftime, when defensive end Damone Lewis intercepted James deep in Tiger territory and scored on a 15-yard return.

“That was really the key play,” said Valdez. “We’re so aggressive, they thought they’d catch us on a blitz. So they threw it out in the flat to the back. But Damone had an outside rush responsibility, and their quarterback hit him in the chest. Anytime you convert a turnover into points, you’ve done well for yourself.”

WSJ led 14-6 at halftime, then added another score to the lead on Xavier Pierre’s third quarter scoring run from the Tiger 2.

Rams quarterback Dray Joseph rounded out the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.