Rams, Bulldogs will settle 8-1A crown

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, November 4, 2014


EDGARD — The last time West St. John lost a Class 1A game in the regular season, it came at the hands of the team the Rams are set to host Friday night: White Castle, 21 games ago.

“We have a lot to play for,” West St. John coach Robert Valdez said. “Starting with a district championship, and we also want to improve our seeding. We respect White Castle and their program very much. They have the same type of athletes we do and they’ve had a lot of success. They’ve got our full attention, for sure.”

West St. John (7-2, 4-0) has captured three consecutive undefeated district championships.                                                                              

Ascension Catholic spoiled White Castle’s undefeated District 8-1A mark last week, handing the Bulldogs a 34-20 loss that was the first win in 12 years for Ascension Catholic in that series.

White Castle  (7-2, 3-1) is led offensively by quarterback Jacory Jones and running back Dontrell Taylor. Taylor had a big first half in last week’s loss, scoring on runs of 50 and 65 yards en route to an opening half total of 164 rushing yards.

It snapped a five-game winning streak for White Castle, which boasts one of the state’s most explosive offensive attacks. The Bulldogs mark of 20 last week was its second lowest point total of the season; White Castle has topped the 50-point mark four times and the 44-point mark six.

Valdez said it starts with Taylor.

“That sucker, there… man, he gets outside and he’s a huge threat to score,” Valdez said. “We have to account for him every time. At the same time, they’ve got a few major threats beyond him.”

Defensively, White Castle boasts tremendous team speed, and Valdez said it has been tough for anyone to get outside on that unit.

As such, controlling the line of scrimmage, he said, is tantamount.

“We threw it a little more than we’d like last week,” Valdez said. “We can’t allow them to have success running. We have to be able to get consistent gains in the running game on our end. This game is going to come down to who can stop the other from consistently running the football.”

Defensively, White Castle has been up and down, allowing 34 points or more four times this season, while allowing 13 points or less on three other occasions.

West St. John is currently ranked fifth in the Class 1A power point rankings and would be a fourth seed in the 1A public school bracket if the postseason began today. The Rams are ranked No. 5 in the LSWA Class 1A poll.