St. James tops Plaquemine, 33-13

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 3, 2009



Even after a hiccup against Port Allen two weeks ago, St. James entered Friday night in full control of its own destiny, with a chance to wrap up a share of the District 8-3A championship with a win over Plaquemine.

And wrap it up the Wildcats did.

St. James scored 26 unanswered points to end the game and capture a 33-13 win over the visiting Green Devils.

Jaleel Steib finished with 21 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown for SJH (3-6, 3-1). Kenneth Armant added eight carries for 59 yards and a score. Seven St. James rushers gained 219 yards on the night.

Plaquemine, meanwhile, rushed for 245, led by Ameer Deggs’ 130 and two scores on 16 carries.

“It was an inside, outside, multiple back attack. It was much more like traditional St. James football than what we’ve seen in previous games this season,” said St. James coach Rick Gaille.

Alonzo Lewis, John Shepard and Laron Williams all came up with key turnovers for SJH – Lewis intercepted a pass, and Shepard and Williams each recovered fumbles.

LaRohn Cambre scored first for St. James on a 14-yard run to give the Wildcats a 7-0 first quarter lead with 7:47 left in the first quarter.

Plaquemine (6-3, 1-2) answered back with just under two minutes left in the quarter coming on Ameer Deggs’ 3-yard touchdown scoot, and the game was tied up.

Deggs struck again just over a minute into the second quarter, getting loose for a 51-yard scoring run that gave Plaquemine a 13-7 lead.

St. James tied the game at 13-13 with 8:11 left in the first half on Jaleel Steib’s 20-yard touchdown romp.

Antoine Landry gave St. James the lead for good with his 1-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter, making it 19-13 after the Wildcats recovered a surprise onside kick to begin the second half.

Then St. James had perhaps its most important sequence of the game. Plaquemine appeared primed to answer with a score after breaking a big play. But Hansel Armant ran down the runner at the St. James 20. A play later, Shepard forced and recovered a fumble to stop the Green Devil threat.

“It’s what we haven’t done in weeks past,” said Gaille. “When the other team starts to push, you need that big play to steal momentum back. Usually, it’s a senior. And those two really stepped up this time and turned things back in our favor.”

The Wildcats dialed up a trick play for their next score.

Cambre pulled out a half back pass to Shaquille Narcisse, who hauled it in for a 20-yard score with 10:05 left in the game.

Kenneth Armant capped things off with a 30-yard scoring run with 5:12 remaining.

Incidentally, it was a dentist that may have helped save the Wildcats season.

Defensive tackle Felix Winchester, one of the key components of the SJH defense, had seen his play suffer due to an abscessed tooth.

“We need him to be one of our energy guys, an emotional leader,” said Gaille. “He couldn’t do it for weeks though due to that tooth.

He missed a game to have it pulled.

Upon returning, he was his old self on Friday night.

“So having a tooth pulled and Felix missing a game ended up helping us out a great deal. Who knew?

“Some things, they just don’t teach you in coaching school.”