St. James, Lutcher start on different paths

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, October 4, 2017

VACHERIE — Another season, another situation where St. James High School is dealing with an injury to its starting quarterback.

And, seemingly like in years past, the Wildcats are not making any excuses.

Shamar Smith, starting for the injured Demarcus Williams, threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns last week against undefeated St. Amant, coming up short in a hard fought 41-27 defeat.

Smith did throw three interceptions but also gained 78 rushing yards.

St. James now stands at 4-1, with District 10-3A competition looming in a few days.

Undefeated Donaldsonville is the Wildcats’ next opponent. St. James coach Robert Valdez said, defensively, his squad can compete with anyone, as long as his young offense allows the defense to get some rest in between possessions by avoiding three-and-outs and turnovers.

Williams is leading the offense so far, completing 56 percent of his passes for 532 yards and five touchdowns.

Sean Lebeouf (123 receiving yards) and Smith (when he plays receiver) are capable threats at receiver. Smith has 13 catches, 273 yards and four touchdowns while lined up wide. On the ground, the Wildcats are led by Williams (220 yards), Smith (118 yards), Dontaz Sterling (212 yards), forcing opponents to defend the air and ground at all times.

Jason Dumas, who committed to Kent State as a defensive lineman, leads a defense that was dominant against Wossman and Lutcher but gave up at least 21 points in three of five games this season.

Dumas is one of four returning starters on the defensive line, along with Kyren Harris, Dewayne White and Chase Davis.

All the linebackers are new, but Brehlan Domino, Ben Clement and Jonrell Jones all are seniors.

There is only one new starter in the secondary, joining senior starters Glenn Brown III, Rashad Pierre and Mississippi State commit Shawn Preston Jr.

Lutcher won back-to-back Class 3A state championships, one under coach Tim Detillier and one under coach Dwain Jenkins, but moved up to Class 4A this season.

That brings new challenges, as evidenced by the Bulldogs’ 1-4 start to the season. District play begins this week, and now important games against Parkview Baptist, Woodlawn and Plaquemine loom through early November.

Before the season started, senior center Brayden Bauer said “we’re the small people this year. A lot of people have to step up.”

Despite the rough start, many players have stepped up. Daevon Adams leads Lutcher with approximately 400 rushing yards and Gregory Clayton and Jacoby Williams have provided receiving threats for quarterback Kolby Bourgeois.

Defensively, the quartet of Rowdy Scott, Zane McCrary, Gabriel Bland and Chris Burkhalter lead LHS in tackles.