The Duhe train has arrived: West St. John in similar situation as last season

Published 12:20 am Wednesday, October 3, 2018

EDGARD — West St. John High School entered this season unlike any team in the River Parishes.

The defending state champions returned much of the coaching staff and players that made last season such a success. With that came expectations and an immediate challenge with an Aug. 31 road game in Week 1 against rival St. James High.

The Rams’ first pass was intercepted, foreshadowing what was to become: a 43-0 crushing defeat.

WSJH coach Brandon Walters said the bottom fell out.

“We did everything wrong,” he said after the game. “Poor execution on both offense and defense, and we just can’t lay down like that. I feel like we quit, and that’s not West St. John football. We’re definitely going to get better and get it right for next week.”

There was one shining light for the Rams, and that was senior Kylan Duhe.

West St. John running back Kylan Duhe (1) rush for some yardage during the LHSAA Class 1A state football championship game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans on Thursday, December 7, 2017. (Photo by Peter G. Forest, cropped for website upload)

The unstoppable running back carried the ball 25 times for 133 yards in Week 1.

He hasn’t been stopped no matter what defenses have stacked up against him. Opposing coaches know Duhe is the focal point; yet, they have proved powerless to stop him.

The senior finished Friday’s game at White Castle with Duhe 128 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Rams’ 48-14 win.

Five games into the season, Duhe has 903 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, all while earning more than 7 yards-per-carry.

Fellow senior Niko Roy also averages 6 yards-a-carry (albeit over less attempts) to give the Rams a powerful rushing attack.

It was something Walters knew he could count on before the season began.

“It makes the job a little easier when you have two monsters back there like that,” Walters said before Week 1. “Those guys are getting back at it this year and they are hungrier. They both want to see how each one can outdo the other. That makes for a good thing in the backfield.”

Sitting at 3-2 as the calendar turns to October is exactly how last season started, when the Rams won their final 10 games on their way to a state title.

There is plenty of belief along the West Bank that similar results are possible this season.

WSJH will need improvement in its passing game, where the Rams are completing less than 50 percent of their passes; however, things were better on Friday, when quarterback D’Andre Gaudia threw for three touchdowns.

The Rams defense has played all over the map in 2018, giving up 43 points to St. James in Week 1 and 31 points to Plaquemine in Week 4, while holding South Plaquemines and White Castle 6 and 14 points, respectively, in WSJH victories.

Leading tacklers include Zyron Wilson, Roy, Jeremiah Downing and Jonathan Porter.