Joseph and Dabney lead Rams to rout, 53-0

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 17, 2009



At times this season, teams have elected to challenge West St. John’s offense by sending pressure, daring the Ram athletes to make plays one-on-one downfield.

Rams coach Robert Valdez will take those odds.

“I like my ‘ones’,” Valdez said.

It would be hard not to on Friday night, as that scenario played out in the Rams’ 53-0 rout of Vermilion Catholic at West St. John.

“Our kids know what’s at stake at this time of the year,” Valdez said. “We weren’t flawless by any means, but as far as effort, we were on point.”

WSJ (7-4) will travel to face No. 22 seed Block in the regional round. Block upset Southern Lab 20-14 to advance.

Dray Joseph was 12-of-15 passing for 271 yards and three touchdowns, while Kenneth Dabney had a monster receiving day – he hauled in seven catches for 213 yards and two touchdowns, while adding 47 yards and another score on the ground. Jarius Moll had seven receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown.

“We love the challenge sometimes,” said Valdez of his team’s ability to make big plays downfield.

“Our kids can deliver in one-on-one situations.”

After losing yardage on its first two plays of the night, it didn’t take long for WSJ to get rolling.

The Rams got on the board early on Damon Scott’s 5-yard touchdown run – that was set up by a long pass from Joseph to Dabney.

Joseph’s next pass to Dabney was a 35-yard scoring strike that made it 12-0.

The lead jumped to 20-0 in the second quarter on Joseph’s 9-yard touchdown run, followed by his conversion pass to Xavier Pierre.

“Dray’s been tremendous as of late,” said Valdez.

The Ram defense got in on the act via a 35-yard interception return by Ravonne Owens, pushing the lead to 26-0.

The first half scoring was rounded out by Dabney’s second touchdown catch from Joseph, this one from 36 yards away.

Dabney, Moll, and Justin Smith each added scores in the second half – Moll’s coming on a 7-yard pass from Daylon Feist.

It is Moll’s second game back from an injury that sidelined him during the regular season.

“He gives us another option, another playmaker that defenses have to account for,” Valdez said.

The Rams dominated in total yardage, outgaining Vermilion Catholic (4-7) 449-83. Joseph and Feist combined to pass for 314 yards.

WSJ committed 15 penalties in the game, perhaps the only blemish in the win. But it did not turn the ball over – conversely, the Ram defense forced four.