SJH looks for repeat run

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 5, 2011



ST. JAMES — It’s a familiar spot for St. James to be in.

The Wildcats have entered district play winless before. In fact, in each of the last two seasons, the Wildcats entered district play 0-5 and rebounded to win the district.

St. James will try to do it again, starting at home with a game against visiting Port Allen Friday.

The Wildcats have been snakebitten all season long with numerous starters missing action, starting in the jamboree when top returning running back Kenneth Armant was sidelined for the season with a leg injury. Two weeks ago, the injury rash culminated with both St. James’ starting quarterback, Shaquille Narcisse, and his backup, Rashaan Dennis, missing time against Vandebilt Catholic; Narcisse did not start due to injury and Dennis was knocked out of the game.

Dennis, said Wildcats’ coach James Bell, is day-to-day and his status for Friday is up in the air. Narcisse returned last week in spot duty, and Bell hopes to have him back full time against an undefeated Port Allen (5-0) squad.

Most of all, Bell just relishes a chance at a fresh start.

“It’s a new season,” said Bell. “When you start district play, it’s like starting over. Hopefully we can kick start a run for ourselves here.”

Bell notes that Port Allen “has picked up where they left off” after a strong 3-1 record and second place finish a year ago in district play. Two years ago, Port Allen defeated St. James en route to a split-title, 20-13; the Wildcats defeated the Pelicans last season 40-13.

St. James fell to Assumption (5-0), 48-21, Friday night.

ISTROUMA AT LUTCHER — Lutcher (4-1) looks to extend its winning streak to five games and move to 3-0 in district 6-4A as it hosts winless Istrouma on Friday.

Istrouma fell to Belaire, 26-14, last week. It is 0-2 in district play.

Lutcher defeated Broadmoor, 42-14, Friday at the Dog Yard to move to 2-0 in district play.

Broadmoor took a 14-13 lead in the second quarter after capitalizing on a muffed punt by Lutcher; the lead was short-lived as Lutcher answered on its ensuing drive, a score sparked by a bold call by coach Tim Detillier, who opted to fake a punt rather than give the ball back to what he felt was a “hot” offense.

Lutcher converted and Daniel Taylor capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. With 1:20 to go before halftime, Ruston Matherne hit Jared Poche for an 11-yard touchdown to make it 28-14. And when Taylor broke loose for a 48-yard touchdown run on Lutcher’s first play of the second half, the Bulldogs never looked back.

Part of the team’s success has been its ability to spread the ball to a wealth of different receivers; five different Bulldogs have caught five passes or more, led by Sully Martin’s 16 receptions for 282 yards.

Detillier noted that most impressive to him is that the Bulldogs have done it without their top three receivers from a year ago, one to graduation (Jarvis Landry) and two to injury (Trevor Englade and D’Amphrany Davis).

“Even despite those losses, I felt like the deepest part of our football team was at reciever,” said Detillier. “I really like this group, like their attitude every day. Sully Martin might be our youngest and smallest receiver, but he’s got the most confidence. And the others are starting to catch up there, as well.”

HIGGINS AT DESTREHAN — The Wildcats have lost three in a row to the likes of Karr, West Jefferson and Dutchtown and will try to bounce back in their district opener, as they host Higgins.

Higgins enters at 3-1 after handing Brother Martin its first loss of the season last week, winning 14-10 on the road. Higgins also has posted wins over O. Perry Walker and Thibodaux. It’s lone loss came at Covington.

Destrehan, meanwhile, suffered a 28-7 loss at home to Class 5A No. 2 Dutchtown last week. It was no mismatch — Destrehan outgained the Griffins 408-272 and had opportunities to break the game open in the first half. But two critical fumbles in the redzone cost the Wildcats, and a 7-0 deficit at halftime grew thanks to the running of Landon Collins and Mason Nickens, who combined for over 200 rushing yards and three scores.

Kevin Smith paced the Destrehan offense, compiling 134 yards and a score on 30 touches.

BONNABEL AT HAHNVILLE — The Tigers open District 8-5A play at home against the undefeated Bonnabel Bruins, which moved to 4-0 last week with a 47-0 win over John McDonogh.

Bonnabel has outscored its four opponents 178-9 this season, topping Clark, West St. John and St. Thomas Aquinas in previous games.

Hahnville snapped a brief two-game losing skid by beating McDonogh No. 35 in a shootout in Boutte, 57-38.

The Tigers led the Roneagles after a crazy first quarter, 29-24. From there, HHS saw its lead grow to 50-26.

Easton Melancon posted four total touchdowns, completing 6 of his 11 passes for 103 yards.

Hahnville (2-3) made much of its headway on the ground, however, as both Ernest Thompson (19-146) and Travis Faucheaux (20-126) tallied over 100 yards on the ground. Each also scored a pair of touchdowns.

For McDonogh No. 35 (2-3), Carlos Henderson was the star of the night, carrying eight times for 108 yards and two scores before leaving with an injury.

Jaylon Bryant, Mike Ford and Kailon Carter each scored on receptions for HHS.