No. 5 Griffins set to host toughest test yet in No. 8 ESJ

Peter SIlas Pasqua
Dutchtown’s Effrem Reed follows the blocking of Kelvin York as East Ascension’s Ryan Moll and Andrew Parms pursues in the Griffins’ victory last week. Reed,?York and the Griffins host East St. John Friday night.

GEISMAR - No. 5 Dutchtown will face its stiffest test thus far this season when they host No. 8 East St. John  Friday night in a District 5-5A battle at Griffin Field to end thier five game homestand.

“It will be the best team that we have played to this point by far,” Dutchtown head coach Benny Saia said. “They are a good football team. They have a lot of weapons and a lot of things that they throw at you.

“The thing that is very important is to have more points then they do when the game is over.”

Dutchtown took a 14-0 lead last season in Reserve before the Wildcats scored 17 unanswered  points to win by a field goal. It was the first of three district losses for the Griffins by a total of eight points.

“You have to play four quarters,” Saia said. “That is any game you play in. They got everybody back. They didn’t lose hardly anybody. It is basically the same team. They stoned us pretty good the second half (last year).  Hopefully, we have that corrected and have an answer for it. We will find out.”

East St. John goes into Friday’s game 1-0 in district and 2-2 overall after defeating St. Amant, 69-35, in Reserve last Friday. The Wildcats’ two losses both came against the No. 1 team in the top two classes – Acadiana (5A) and Bastrop (4A).

Senior Alex Singleton, a Tulsa commitment, rushed for 98 yards on 14 carries to lead the Wildcats rushing attack last week. Singleton has rushed for 452 yards on 82 carries.

“He is a big, strong power back that just keeps coming and he is not the only weapon that they have,” Saia said. “They have two backs that are real good and three quarterbacks that are real good. They have an offensive line that is real good. We just have to battle. We got to bring our lunch. We ain’t going to get no bigger before now and Friday, so we got what we got.”

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. Patrick Lewis, a Texas A&M commitment leads the Wildcats’ offensive line.

Quarterback Kalen Henderson has thrown for 359 yards completing 21 of 60 passes, including three touchdowns, and has added 163 yards on 21 carries on the ground to go with five touchdowns. Henderson’s top target has been Tim Evans, who has caught 10 passes for 113 yards. Todd Muse has also added 131 yards on 15 carries.

Dutchtown’s defense  limited East Ascension’s offense, to 142 yards total offense shutting out an opponent’s offense for the second time this season, while forcing three first-half turnovers. Linebackers Randy Thackery and Jordan Gruff led the Griffins in tackles with six apiece, while Richard Buckled added five, Eric Ride provided four and John William’s and Justin River each had three.

East St. John’s defense, which has given up 21.25 points per game, is led by senior linebackers Alive Sconeaux and Bryson James and senior defensive back Torri Zeno.

Dutchtown’s offense is led by running backs Kelvin York, who has rushed for 668 yards on 90 carries, and Eddie Lacy, who has 306 on 36, including a 163 yard performance on 15 carries to go with four touchdowns against East Ascension. Quarterback Wesley Perkins has completed 20 of 44 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns. Perkins’ top target has been hybrid back Effrem Reed who has caught six passes for 162 yards two touchdowns. Other targets include tight end Colby Little and receivers Cody Vicknair and Greg Provo. Fullback Lyndon Holmes also has four touchdowns.

“You just are going to try and out-execute and do the things that we do,” Saia said. “We have play our game and try to move the ball.

“We are going to try and run our offense, and execute, and make first downs and hopefully, try to win the game. You try to string things together and not turn the ball over. Don’t give them anything cheap and limit penalties. We aren’t going to score 30 points like last week. This is against a good football team.”

Dutchtown travels to Hahnville next week.