Boudoin heroics lead Rams to dramatic win over Bulldogs

Published 4:24 am Saturday, October 25, 2014


EDGARD — West St. John had a simple message to upset-minded Ascension Catholic on Friday night

Not tonight.

Lamore Boudoin delivered a kickoff return for a touchdown and a 50-yard game-sealing touchdown run, both in the fourth quarter, to lift West St. John to a thrilling 32-27 District 8-1A victory at home.

Ascension Catholic led 15-8 before chaos broke out in a fourth quarter that saw the two teams combine to score 36 points.

The Bulldogs threatened to become the first Class 1A team to win a regular season game over West St. John (6-2, 3-0) since White Castle did it in 2010. West St. John has won its district in three straight seasons, finishing with an undefeated league mark each time.

“We knew they were good and we knew we were in for a tough game (Friday),” West St. John coach Robert Valdez said. “We came in understanding the need to play with a sense of urgency. (Ascension Catholic) really stacked up against our running game. We’ve been facing the spread most of the season, and they were really the first team that came at us with a truly methodical offensive approach.

“Our kids needed a game like this. I’m proud of the way they responded.”

With 5:44 left in the game, Ascension Catholic silenced the home crowd at Rudolph G. Dinvaut Stadium when James Martin rumbled into the endzone on fourth down from 3-yards out, giving his team a 21-16 lead. The run capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive.

Enter Boudoin, a junior, took the ensuing kickoff and knifed through the Ascension Catholic (6-2, 2-1) coverage team, sending his sideline and home fans into hysterics via an 85-yard kickoff return for a score, putting WSJ ahead 22-21. Jemoine Green connected with Bradley Borne for a two-point conversion to make it 24-21.

“(The blockers) set the wall up perfectly, and once I hit it, I saw green,” Boudoin said. “And then I took off.”

The Bulldogs pushed down the field, starting with a 13-yard run by Kaleb Winchester, then a D.C. Mattingly completion to Cleveland Fefie well into Ram territory. But Jamal Walters made the defensive play of the night, stripping the ball, and the Rams recovered to take over with 4:10 left to play.

“Our coaches are constantly preaching that, hit then rip,” Walters said. “This win meant a lot to us. We wanted to make a statement that we’re still the team to beat in our district.”

Five plays later, Boudoin ripped through the line for a 50-yard touchdown run, and coupled with a Green two-point run, made it 32-21.

“Everyone made their blocks downfield, and that makes things easy for me,” Boudoin said.

Ascension Catholic made things interesting with a late touchdown following a Rams’ coverage miscue, but WSJ recovered the ensuing onside kick to preserve the win.

Martin rushed for three touchdowns on the night, the second coming with 33 seconds left in the third quarter to put his team ahead 15-8.

West St. John recaptured the lead on a Green fade pass to Morell Bartholomew in the back corner of the endzone, Bartholomew making an impressive leaping grab to haul it in. Boudoin’s two-point run gave WSJ a 16-15 lead. It was Bartholomew’s fourth reception of the drive, the Rams taking advantage of the 6’4” senior’s height advantage on Winchester and the Bulldog defensive backs.

“I wanted the ball a lot there,” Bartholomew said. “I had a bad drop earlier in the game and I definitely wanted to make up for it.”

The Rams played the first half with backup passer Juwan Boudoin leading the way. Usual starting quarterback Green was sidelined for much of the week with an illness and Valdez elected to tab Boudoin, who connected with Jabari Walters for a 41-yard first half touchdown on a post route, for the start.

But leading 8-7 entering the third quarter, Valdez inserted Green to start the second half.

Jamal Walters and DaJon Taylor were two of the night’s brightest defensive stars. Walters had an interception to go along with his late forced fumble, while Taylor had a sack and a number of quarterback hurries and deflected passes.