St. James readies for tough Salmen matchup

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2010



ST. JAMES — St. James is trying to get on track with its first victory, but there have been no “get right” games on the schedule. This Friday’s matchup won’t be any easier, to say the least.

The Wildcats are set to face Salmen, the top ranked team in Class 4A. The Spartans have dominated this season en route to a 4-0 mark, defeating Northshore (50-7), Slidell (49-6) and Belle Chasse (45-19) convincingly. Its fourth win was closer—but it came over the likes of Class 2A No. 1 and perennial power John Curtis, 28-21.

Rick Gaille says his team has much to overcome this week.

“Clearly, we’re overmatched at most positions,” said Gaille. “It’s going to come down to whether we’re determined enough to follow through in our execution, if we can overcome their physical superiority with technique, intelligence, and our own execution. We’re going to discover if we’ve truly become students of our positions.”

Gaille said Salmen’s physical prowess extends to both sides of the line of scrimmage.

“They can physically do anything they want to, realistically. If they want to line it up and run it at you, if they want to spread you out and get their players in space, they are more than capable. Defensively, they can press if they want to … they’re just so well-equipped to do anything they need to do to get a win.”

Against Patterson, St. James played Patterson to a virtual stalemate for much of the night — but a disastrous five-minute period doomed the Wildcats.

The Wildcats led 6-0 but saw that lead wiped out in the second quarter thanks to a string of three turnovers. After the Lumberjacks drove for a go-ahead score to take a 7-6 lead, a fumble by St. James quarterback Ben Falgoust followed by back-to-back lost fumbles by the Wildcats swung the game to Patterson. The Lumberjacks scored a touchdown off of each turnover to go ahead 28-6.

“We did everything wrong over that span. We played like a losing football team over those five minutes, and it was the difference,” said St. James coach Rick Gaille.

Hilton Narcisse scored a defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery for SJH. Falgoust also connected with Alonzo Lewis for a 78-yard touchdown.