Turnovers, Mangham rush attack deny Rams Dome trip

Published 2:22 am Saturday, December 7, 2013


LAPLACE – Few, if anyone, could have seen Friday’s result coming.

In a flash, West St. John’s season was over, courtesy of a dominating game by host Mangham, which forced four Rams turnovers en route to a 56-24 Dragons Class 1A semifinal victory at home.

2nd seeded Mangham (11-2) will face top-seed Haynesville in the 1A state championship game next week.

West St. John fell behind 21-6 in the first quarter, but rallied to within three in the second half when Austin Howard scored on a 12-yard keeper, set up by a Rams’ fumble recovery. That made it 21-18.

But as quickly as the Rams (10-3) seemed to be gaining momentum, it was completely lost. Abdullah Rhone’s 68-yard touchdown run gave Mangham a 28-18 lead. Then the Rams’ fumbled away their next possession, allowing the Dragons to take over at the WSJ 13. Ridge Heisler’s 4-yard keeper run pushed Mangham ahead 35-18.

Those two touchdowns kickstarted run of 28 consecutive points by Mangham, all but officially ending West St. John’s season in the semifinals for the second straight season.

West St. John’s efforts were hindered by the loss of star rusher Jeremy Jackson, who left the game early in the first quarter due to injury.

Mangham’s Jakarie Nichols intercepted two passes by West St. John’s Austin Howard in the first quarter, each setting up a touchdown.

Kemme Weeks scored the first two touchdowns of the night for the Dragons, putting Mangham ahead 14-6 and setting an early tone.

Kyle Barefield’s 1-yard rushing score pushed the Dragons ahead 21-6 late in the first quarter.

The Rams fought back to make it a 21-12 game just before halftime when Bradley Borne scored on a 4-yard run.

That was Borne’s second touchdown of the night, after hauling in a 38-yard score from Howard in the first quarter.

Weeks finished with 151 rushing yards to lead Mangham. The Dragons rushed for 398 yards in total.