St. Amant recoups to head into district at East St. John

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Zach Whittington and Marvin Martin try to knock down a pass as Jake Roberts applies pressure against Lucther earlier in the season. The Gators open District 5-5A play Friday night when they travel to East St. John.

ST. AMANT - St. Amant goes into District 5-5A play Friday night at East St. John in Reserve at Joe Keller Stadium after a heartbreaking, 52-45, double overtime loss to Woodlawn last week that saw the Gators erase three-score leads twice.

“Our kids are up,” St. Amant head coach David Oliver said. “They realized that we squandered a few mistakes but we are at the point of building a program where we can’t really worry about lost opportunities so we are just focused on the process of improving as a football team and getting better.

“I thought our kids showed a lot of toughness and played with a lot of heart. If they keep working hard and doing those kind of things, I think that good things are going to happen for them.”

St. Amant (0-4) rushed for 312 yards in last week’s loss as both Tre’ Vaughn (145 yards) and Adrian Bourgeois (141 yards) rushed for over 100 yards and had two touchdowns. Quarterback Jaylin LeBlanc also passed for 133 yards completing eight of 13 passes, while throwing and rushing for touchdowns. LeBlanc’s top target was Anthony Bonadona who caught three passes for 59 yards and a score.

“The key for us is obviously going to be ball security,” Oliver said. “We fell like if we would have done a better job of taking care of the ball last week, we would have had a chance to win that game. We are going to continue to work hard and try to protect the football and run our offense.”

Bourgeois has moved to tailback since coming back from an injury to compliment Vaughn after starting the season at fullback. Nelson Jointer took over for Bourgeois at fullback earlier in the year.

‘We have had the ability to do that all year,” Oliver said. “We just felt like that was the best chance for us to hit the edge and what it comes down to is if we execute, we generally have a successful play and if we don’t execute it usually becomes something negative. We are just focused on taking care of ourselves and doing a good job of what we do.”

East St. John (1-2) is coming off its first victory of the season, 28-0, over Carencro. Their losses came to No. 1 Acadiana of 5A (28-21) and No. 1 Bastrop of 4A (22-18).

“They are extremely big on the interior line and they run well on offense and defense,” Oliver said. “They have played a brutal schedule. You are talking about a very solid football team we are going to face on Friday night.”

Head coach Larry Dauterive in his sixth year at East St. John and 23rd year coaching has his team coming in after a 6-5 record a season ago that saw the Wildcats loss to Barbe, 28-19, in the bi-district round. East St. John is led on the ground by running back Alex Singleton, a first team All-State selection, who has rushed for 354 yards on 75 carries. Patrick Lewis, a two-year All-State offensive lineman returns to lead the way. Andre Millet and Kelen Henderson are the quarterbacks.

St. Amant’s defense has struggled defending the pass this season. The Gators gave up just 95 yards in the air last week but Woodlawn quarterback Shawn Perryman threw three touchdown passes, a week after St. Charles Catholic quarterback Marc Picciola hit St. Amant for four touchdowns.

East St. John’s defense is led by senior linebackers Alvin Sconeaux and Bryson James and senior defensive back Torri Zeno.

“I wish we would have had a little more momentum going in but I think we are starting to get a little bit better at the right time,” Oliver said. “It is a competitive district. I think three or four of these teams are ranked so we are going to have to come with our A game every week and play error free football to have chance to be competitive and I feel like we can do that.”