East St. John stops Hahnville, 28-12

Published 2:11 am Saturday, October 19, 2013


LAPLACE – East St. John defensive tackle Davarian Stockman’s game plan entering Friday’s game between his Wildcats and the Hahnville Tigers had little to do with X’s and O’s.
“Our mindset was to outwork them,” said Stockman. “Line up and blow them off the ball.”
There was no doubt as to the winner, be it of the positional matchup between East St. John’s defensive front and Hahnville’s offensive line or on the scoreboard as a whole. The Wildcats won their fourth consecutive game by taking a 28-12 victory at Hahnville on a night the Tigers were able to muster little offensively.
“We felt like we played well enough to win last year (against Hahnville),” said Stockman, who finished the night with two sacks. “Our offense ran up over 300 yards, our defense held them to a bit over 100. We made some mistakes on special teams and felt we let it get away from us.’
“This is an awesome feeling. We set out to beat them physically.”
That’s something that hasn’t happened often to the Tigers, a team that had a number of slugfests under its belt already this year. But the Wildcats’ defensive front proved a brick wall that the Tigers found no room to run against, and once East St. John took a 28-7 lead in the third quarter, the onus fell on quarterback Logan Martindale, who played most of the game. Senior and regular starter Dylan Keller returned but played sparingly, as he was being eased back in after sitting out a month due to injury. Martindale struggled, facing heavy pressure from an ESJ front turned loose to rush the passer for nearly the entirety of the second half. Martindale passed for 97 yards with an interception.
The Tigers (3-4, 2-2) rushed for just eight yards on the night. ESJ held top HHS rusher Lynn Simmons to 11 yards on 10 carries.
Eight in the box?
“Nine,” said ESJ coach Phillip Banko. “That team has run on everyone they’ve played. An unbelievable effort by our defense tonight.”
Xavier Lewis accounted for three touchdowns for ESJ, including two runs and a long touchdown pass to Kyle Patterson.
ESJ overcame five turnovers, including four in the first half. Hahnville also blocked a punt.
Even so, ESJ led 14-7 at the half.
The Wildcats created separation on its second play of the second half when Lewis rolled out and spotted Patterson standing all alone down the sideline. Patterson hauled in the catch and then turned up field, jaunting into the end zone untouched for a 74 yard score to make it 21-7.
“It was a busted coverage,” said Patterson, who just began playing football as a senior this year after playing basketball throughout his ESJ career. “I’m just like, ‘Xay! Throw the ball! Throw the ball!’ And he made the play and we got the touchdown … This game’s all about momentum, and that was a momentum changer for us.”
ESJ (4-3, 4-0) forced a punt and Antonio Parks set up a short field for ESJ, returning it to the Hahnville 33. Three plays later, Lewis rushed around left and into the end zone on a 9-yard keeper to make it 28-7 with 8:01 left in the third quarter.
“You fall behind and you have to throw,” said Hahnville coach Lou Valdin. “We’re not built for that. Once we had to go away from the run, we were in trouble.’
“You pass, it’s incomplete, you stop the clock. Our defense was out there all night. They were dying out there.”
Amani Martin sacked Keller to stifle the next Hahnville drive, but Craig Ford booted a 20 yard field goal to cut the deficit to 28-10.
Then to cap ESJ’s next possession, Larry Boyd flew around the end on an ESJ punt attempt and blocked the kick into the end zone. Kyle Patterson booted the ball out of the back of the end zone to prevent a touchdown, but Hahnville settled on a safety to make it 28-12.
“Says about ol’ coach Banko, coaching em’ up,” joked Banko. “He’s been playing football for just three, four months. He’s a quick study. He’s learning the game … I wish we’d had him sooner, but I’m glad we have him now.”
Said Patterson, “I just wanted to make the smart play there. It was a bust for us, but better to give up two than six.”
But the Tigers were in a precarious position. Andrew Weber sacked Martindale to stymie the next Tiger drive; a Dontrell Allen interception halted the next. Hahnville got just one possession from there, but ESJ forced a turnover on downs to seal the win.
Simmons scored Hahnville’s lone touchdown, a 4-yard run in the first half.
ESJ scored twice in the second quarter on a 6-yard Anderson run and a 3-yard Lewis run respectively.