Rams ready for ‘step up’ with Bulldogs

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013


LAPLACE — West St. John won its first two district games by a combined score of 110-0. Its next matchup promises to offer more of a challenge.
This week the Rams (5-2, 2-0) go on the road where they’ll be pitted against a much-improved Ascension Catholic (5-2, 2-0) team that boasts a record matching WSJ’s own.
The Bulldogs have topped the 50-point mark three times this season behind a powerful triple-option rushing attack.
“We haven’t faced an option team like this so far this season,” said West St. John coach Robert Valdez. “They run something of a hybrid Wing-T. When you’re up against the option, it comes down to playing a disciplined game. It’s less about shooting up field and now about playing assignment football.”
This stands as Doug Moreau’s second season at the helm of the Ascension Catholic program after a successful run at St. Amant. Moreau is coaching in his 33rd season and boasts a career record of 186-102-2. He led the Bulldogs to a 7-4 record last season.
Quarterback D.J. Latino and running backs Gilbert Allen and James Martin are among the top threats for Ascension Catholic.
Defensively, Valdez showed respect for the Bulldogs’ defensive line, a big and athletic unit that he said can present problems for anyone. That front is led by 6-foot-4-inch, 240 pound defensive tackle Delmond Landry.
He said that Moreau’s impact can be seen clearly on film. The coach has instilled a confidence in his players, Valdez said, that shows in how the Bulldogs play.
“They play with a demeanor at all times that says they know they can win,” said Valdez. ”It’s evident. And they play full speed at all times.”
It’s a major step up in competition as far as District 8-1A play goes for the Rams. Ascension Christian and East Iberville, the Rams’ last two opponents, are a combined 1-13 this season.
“It’s a good way to transition into the tougher part of our district schedule,” said Valdez. “Ascension Catholic runs it extremely well and they’ll run play-action off of that success, so our defense will need to be in position at all times.”
And as always, offensively the Rams will look to push the pace. West St. John’s Jeremy Jackson currently sits with 917 yards and 11 touchdowns on 80 carries, leading the River Region in both yardage and touchdowns.
Jackson totalled 145 yards and two scores on just six carries in West St. John’s 49-0 win over East Iberville.
The Rams scored on their first three plays from scrimmage.
Keith Miller had a strong night, scoring on an 8-yard pass from Austin Howard and also on a 35-yard punt return.
Jemoine Green also got on the board, the sophomore wideout hauling in a 35 yard pass from Howard.
Howard totalled four touchdowns on the night, passing for 130 yards. He also connected with Laterence Mitchell for a 45 yard score.