Rams line paving way to success, now eye Bogalusa

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013


The West St. John offensive line was in peak form Friday night against St. James, paving the way for 205 Jeremy Jackson yards and five total Ram rushing scores.
The line’s performance in Friday night’s 35-7 “Railroad Classic” home victory was a wonderful vision for Ram fans and WSJ coach Robert Valdez in particular. Valdez consistently maintained since the spring that his offensive line had ample size, strength and ability, but that he needed to see more intensity on a consistent basis from the group.
Against their local rival, the Rams’ line — consisting of starters Koi Rainey, Ryan Cannon, Dustin Sorapuru, Marvin Pierre and Dontrell Smalls  dominated in a big way. But this week, a road matchup with Bogalusa looms. It won’t carry the same spotlight or flare of last week’s rivalry game, so the question Valdez has for his lineman isn’t “Can you do it again?” but “Will you do it again?”
“That’s the biggest thing for them,” said Valdez. “We know what our guys can do up front. We just saw it in a big way. But just how consistently will that effort be there is what we need to find out. We’ve got a run-based offense. We run the no-huddle and establish a fast tempo, so it’s imperative that our guys are up to the task, as they were last week.”
The Rams were incredibly efficient last season after committing to it’s Chip Kelly-style no- huddle offense, and against a talented St. James defensive unit, it continued to look the part. Jackson averaged 8.9 yards a carry. Austin Howard was 11 for 14 for 143 yards and a rushing score of his own. His favorite target, Keith Miller, hauled in 90 of those yards.
Howard’s touchdown run came on a zone-read play, a wrinkle the Rams used sparingly last season and have expanded upon a bit more coming into this season.
Bogalusa fell 30-8 last week to Kentwood, the fourth-ranked team in Class 1A in the LSWA poll (West St. John is ranked third).
Valdez said that the Lumberjacks threaten with a good group of athletes and size along both the offensive and defensive lines.
“Watching the film on them, they’re still gelling on offense,” he said. “Defensively, they’re further along and you see some good things. They’ve got a big defensive line and good athletes in the defensive backfield. So for us, we can’t make mistakes and allow those guys to take advantage. We can’t get caught up in what we did last week.” 30 minutes after the game, that was over and done with. You move on to this week.”