Wrapping things up
Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, May 27, 2014
By RYAN ARENA
NEW ORLEANS — When East St. John quarterback Phil Adams hit Sedrick Colbert deep for a 38-yard touchdown near the end of Friday’s spring game between the Wildcats and Landry-Walker, it represented the high point of an up-and-down day for ESJ.
Landry-Walker controlled the live-scrimmage portion of the day, taking an unofficial 13-8 victory over two 12-minute halves.
“It provided a playoff type of competitive atmosphere for us,” said East St. John coach Phillip Banko. “Landry-Walker’s got a strong team. I give us maybe a C-plus. We weren’t as good as we need to be, but we’ve got to keep in mind who we were playing as well.”
The first teams for each squad played in the first half, while the second half saw the second teams get in for some action.
But the Wildcats’ first team didn’t see much action in that first half. The Charging Buccaneers controlled the ball for most of the way, mostly thanks to a long first drive buoyed by a pair of ESJ personal foul penalties. A Tevin Bush 6-yard touchdown run capped the drive off.
East St. John’s first possession ended prematurely when a Jarrod Jackson reception resulted in a fumble on the second play. Landry-Walker picked up a third-and-17 on the next drive after a 34-yard completion by quarterback Li’Jon Cordier. Cordier scored a play later on a quarterback sneak to make it 13-0 at the half.
“We’re young on defense,” said ESJ senior safety/linebacker Ahmani Martin. “I think guys were playing scared to make a mistake. When you play scared, you play slow, and it showed.
“We need to work on our conditioning. The penalties really hurt. Two personal foul calls, that’s 30 yards. We moved them halfway down the field ourselves. That hurts you every time.”
Adams and Colbert connected for the only second half score, with Adams chasing that completion with a two-point conversion to Anthony Steer, who hauled in a jumpball to make it 13-8.
The spring game began with redzone and goal line drills, with the redzone drills beginning at the 10 and the goal line drills at the 3. Landry-Walker outscored ESJ in the redzone portion, 34-22. In the goalline drill, the Charging Buccaneers scored three times to earn an 18-12 advantage.
ESJ starting quarterback Xavier Lewis accounted for three total touchdowns, rushing for two and completing one passing score to Colbert. Nigel Anderson scored a short touchdown, while Adams completed a pair of touchdown passes, one to Jackson and the other to Steer.
Banko said he felt Adams threw the ball well in his playing time while the ESJ offensive line, which started three freshmen, “grew up a little bit.”
“They knocked us in the mouth early on, but that’s what you play this for,” said Banko. “I thought toward the middle of it our guys started picking it up.”