BIG WINS: West St. John, East St. John & SCC claim Week 10 victories

Published 11:09 pm Friday, November 3, 2017

LAPLACE — Friday night was very successful for St. John the Baptist Parish high school football teams.

Riverside Academy had the night off, but West St. John High, East St. John High and St. Charles Catholic all put in superb performances, each winning for a combined score of 92-8, including two shutouts.

West St. John finished off a perfect District run and improved to 8-2 overall with a 38-to-0 win over St. Martin’s Episcopal School (3-7, 0-4).

East St. John High bounced back in a big way, defeating South Lafourche 40–8 in a show of force where the Wildcats only missed a shutout by allowing 8 fourth quarter points.

The win bumps ESJH’s record to 5-5, 4-3 and was just what the doctor ordered after coach Alden Foster said earlier in the week that the outcome would be a direct result of his team’s toughness.

The night’s premiere local match up took place in LaPlace, where St. Charles Catholic celebrated Senior Night before taking on St. James High.

One senior certainly celebrated it.

Quarterback Lloyd Nash, who broke his collarbone in the first game of the season, returned to the starting lineup for the last one and led the Comets to a 14-0 victory over St. James.

He saw limited action on defense last week against De La Salle but took every offensive snap Friday.

The Nicholls State commit rushed for 66 yards and one touchdown, passed for 36 yards and ended the game with an interception on defense.

“I know I was supposed to bat it down but I needed one,” Nash said. “I knew I had missed two earlier. It felt good to get out there back with my guys, doing what it takes to win. We got a score early and that kind of jumpstarted the team. It was an ugly first half by the offense, but the defense held it down.”

It was no offensive shootout on either side.

The Comets defense held St. James to 94 yards rushing, led by Dontaz Sterling with 53. Quarterback Shamar Smith rushed for 26, but was sacked three times — twice by Comets senior Jordan Jensen.

Smith also was intercepted by Bryce Authement.

The Comets gained 161 rushing yards. Also returning to the lineup was Joe Chiarella, who injured an ankle last month. He finished with 45 yards on eight carries. Phillip Tran rushed for 42. Nash threw only four passes for 36 yards.

The Comets just got the big plays when they needed them.

St. Charles Catholic’s first drive started at its own 27-yard line but, three plays later, the Comets had a third-and-22 on their own 15 after Nash scrambled back to cover a bad snap. Then Nash ran a draw for a 35-yard gain and got 15 more yards from a facemask penalty. From the St. James 35, Phillip Tran ran to the 1, then Narquez Jones went over the top for the Comets’ first score with 9:58 remaining in the first quarter.

St. James was on the move in the second quarter, driving from their own 29 to the Comets 41 on a 15-yard run by Sterling, a 15-yard pass from Smith to Devonne White and an 11-yard run by Smith. But Smith’s pass was intercepted by Authement at the Comets’ 29 with 5:54 remaining in the half.

The Wildcats defense stiffened and stopped the Comets at their own 42, but muffed the punt at the Wildcats 20 and St. Charles retained possession. Phillip Tran ran to the 9, then Nash ran through the right side for the touchdown with 56 seconds remaining in the half.

St. James coach Robert Valdez said his team missed too many opportunities.

“It’s a tough place to play,” he said. “Our guys gave a great effort. We had our chances. We had some turnovers that stopped drives and we made a couple of mistakes. The good part about this is, I saw my guys compete against a real good football team. We go into the tournament next week. We have a lot of things we need to polish up. We can’t have those missed opportunities.”