St. James falls just short as Vandebilt rallies

Published 4:03 am Saturday, September 21, 2013



LAPLACE — St. James nearly netted its first win in its last 23 games on Friday, but instead gathered another learning experience — a heartbreaking one, at that.

The Wildcats led 18-7 with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter at Vandebilt Catholic, but the Terriers cashed in on a pair of Wildcats’ mistakes to score two touchdowns and capture a 22-18 victory.

Vandebilt Catholic scored a defensive touchdown with 8:23 remaining, recovering a Wildcats’ fumble in the endzone and then scoring on a two-point conversion to make it 18-15.

The Terriers stopped St. James on its next possession, blocking a punt and recovering at the SJH 3. Vandebilt ran it in for the go-ahead and eventual winning score with 6:46 remaining.

“Now, we have to learn how to win games,” said St. James coach Dwain Jenkins. “We had the lead, we had a chance to maybe score and put it away or take some time off the clock. We weren’t able to do either.’

“When you have an opportunity to win a game in front of you, you have to seize it. This program hasn’t had the success over the past two seasons. These kids don’t know how to win yet. It’s a tough loss, but we’ll learn from it. What you do now is tell them to remember this feeling, remember the hurt and use it to get better.”

St. James scored on three big plays to take an 11-point lead after falling behind 7-0.

Curtian Johnson’s 45-yard touchdown run in the second quarter cut Vandebilt Catholic’s lead to one after the point after kick was no-good. That 7-6 score held until halftime.

Early in the third quarter, SJH quarterback Lowell Narcisse found Rashaan Dennis for a 59-yard touchdown pass to give St. James’ its first lead of the season at 12-7.

With 5:22 left in the third quarter, D’kwan Sandolph got loose for a 74-yard touchdown run, making it 18-7.

St. James forced four Vandebilt Catholic turnovers while only committing one.

Sandolph tallied 93 yards on eight touches to lead St. James. Narcisse completed five of 17 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.