Large crowd expected for ESJH’s home game against McDonogh 35

Published 12:23 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

RESERVE — The scene was quite memorable Sept. 29, 2017, when more than 3,000 fans and supporters packed Joe Keller Memorial Stadium for a revived East St. John Alumni Association-sponsored show of support.

Dubbed “Party With a Purpose,” the event raised money for college scholarships and packed the house, propelling the Wildcats to a 34-6 victory over H.L. Bourgeois.

The alumni association is back at it again, and this Friday marks round 2 when ESJH (1-1) hosts McDonogh 35 (1-1) for high school football action.

The Roneagles enter the contest riding high, following a 23-0 shutout of L.W. Higgins in Marrero.

They will face a fired-up home team and plenty of St. John the Baptist Parish support as the Wildcats are also coming off a victory — a 41-6 road trouncing of West Jefferson.

New coach Brandon Brown was happy with the showing but sees room for improvement, noting West Jefferson’s lone score came off a big play.

“We strive to not give up the big play,” Brown said after the game. “We need more consistency and can do a better job of getting off the field on third downs.”

A new-look offensive approach saw junior Sean Shelby operate things as quarterback — a move that led to 380 yards of offense. Shelby connected on 9 of 15 passes for 87 yards.

Duke Crosby moved to wide receiver, hauling in four passes for half his team’s receiving yards. The running game was especially strong, producing five rushing touchdowns thanks to strong efforts by Pershing Toney, C.J. Gardner and Reggie Foster.

The ESJ Alumni Association was established in August, 2017 with a vision to duplicate the homecoming and support efforts of St. James High and West St. John High.

School District Superintendent Kevin George called last year’s outpouring amazing, noting at the time that the community can do some amazing things when it comes together.

“For me, it was one of the proudest moments I’ve had since I have been here to see all those people there to support East St. John High School,” George said almost one year ago.

Organizers are hoping for an even larger turnout this Friday.