ESJH winning streak puts squad in strong position for District schedule

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

RESERVE — Alden Foster has coached more than 100 high school football games, which includes the last two and a half seasons leading East St. John High.

He has been around for a lot, but what he had not seen was a homecoming show like the one he witnessed Friday night for the Wildcats game against H.L. Bourgeois.

Joe Keller Stadium was packed with football fans, and those who attended certainly enjoyed watching East St. John’s 34-6 rout, which improved the Wildcats’ record to 3-2, 2-0 in district play.

Most observers said it was ESJH’s largest crowd in years.

“You could feel it in the air,” Foster said. “Everybody was happy. It gave you chills to have that opportunity to see it and live it. We’ve talked about it, but to see it develop was amazing. Even leaving out of there, the kids were like, ‘man, they are partying.’ I told the players, ‘y’all are the main event.’ It’s good that we were able to be successful, the kids were able to see that and now we have something to look forward to.”

East St. John High is riding back-to-back victories over Central Lafourche and H.L. Bourgeois, setting up the Wildcats for their most relevant second half of the season of Coach Foster’s tenure.

The Wildcats tasted this success last season when they were two seconds away from defeating 10th seeded Barbe in the Class 5A football playoffs before a final score did them in.

“If we improve on the penalties and don’t give up big plays, we like our chances against anybody,” Foster said. “No one has really stopped us all year long. We have moved the ball and the defense has played consistent all year.

“We have to not kill ourselves, continue to play consistent defense and not give up big plays. We like our chances against anybody.”

ESJH players are doing everything they can to bring some shine back to the program. Senior offensive lineman Morgan Ursin is one of many leading the Wildcats to greater success in 2017. There is also Dasmain “Duke” Crosby, firmly in control as the starting quarterback.

The playmaker is coming off his best game, passing for 175 yards and two touchdowns, while running 17 times for 134 yards against H.L. Bourgeois.

“He started half the games last year and now that this season is going, he is getting better and better,” Foster said of his short but dangerous quarterback. “He is still missing on a few things, but at the same time, he is a great little athlete. It feels good to have a threat like that.”

Two defensive scores boosted the team’s highlights tremendously, both on fumble recoveries that energized a large and vocal homecoming crowd.

Foster said execution and maintaining an identity on offense is key to second half success.

“We have to get more physical up front in the passing game and the running game,” Foster said after Week 3. “We have our work cut out for us. We played hard, but we have to finish.”

The meat of the District schedule comes in the next three Fridays with back-to-back-to-back games against Destrehan, Terrebonne and Hahnville.

Receiver Javon Antonio has set himself apart as, perhaps, the Wildcats’ chief playmaker. Fleet of foot, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound pass catcher is a constant mismatch for opposing defenders.

Kyle Henderson, Shelvin Keller and Hoxie Brown can also step up to make plays.

Defenders John Gayden, Brad Arceneaux, Welland Williams, Jarius Monroe, Chris Thompson and D’Andrei Pittman are just as important on defense, where the Wildcats are giving up more than 20 points per game, but have held opponents to 14 points or less on three occasions.