Gators option offense walks over Walker

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant quarterback Jaylin LeBlanc is congratulated by Adrian Bourgeois after scoring on a 24-yard option keeper in the first half of the LeBlanc Food Stores Jamboree Friday night against Walker. LeBlanc and Bourgeois connected once and combined for four touchdowns for the Gators.

DENHAM SPRINGS – St. Amant scored on its first four possessions and never looked back rolling over Walker in the jamboree finale of the LeBlanc Food Stores Ascension – Livingston Challenge at Denham Springs’ Yellow Jacket Stadium Friday night  to give Ascension Parish a sweep.

“We have learned a lot about our team since January,” St. Amant first-year head coach David Oliver said. “It was a strong effort on both sides of the ball. Walker played hard. They were inspired but we played some physical football. I thought we played physical all-around and we did what we preach here. We played on the edge.”

St. Amant seemed well adjusted to the triple option offense driving 65 yards in eight plays to open the contest. Fullback Adrian Bourgeois capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge with 10:44 left in the first half. Quarterback Jaylin LeBlanc kept twice for 19 and 14 yards to fuel the drive. Colby Robert’s kick made it 7-0.

“Last week, we had a rotation trying to settle out the order and we went with Jaylin,” Oliver said. “He is a just a sophomore. He is a little young but we sure felt like he executed.”

Walker quarterback Blake Martin was injured from a crushing blow from linebacker Zach Whittington on the next possession and did not return. Derrick Racca relieved him before running back David Zachery began taking the snap for Walker.

“That is not something you wish to happen,” Walker first-year head coach Mike Todd said. “(Zachery) did what we asked him to do. We were going to utilize him at running back. Of course, Blake was going to be our quarterback and we were going to try some things tonight but that got knocked out on the second play.”

Chase Hitcock blocked Lee Wilkerson’s punt and recovered it at the Wildcat 24 and two plays later LeBlanc went the distance on an option keeper into the end zone. Robert’s kick made it 14-0 with 9:18 left in the half. 

LeBlanc connected with a diving Anthony Bonadona in the left corner of the end zone for a 27-yard scoring strike on the Gators’ next possession after a 22-yard punt by Wilkerson. Robert’s kick made it 21-0 with 3:36 left in the half.

St. Amant got great field position on their next possession as well after Justin Bumgardner sacked Racca for a 9-yard loss. LeBlanc connected with Bourgeois out of the back field who weaved his way into the end zone from 36 yards on the first play. Daniel Truxillo tackled holder Justin Guillory on the kick to leave the score 27-0 with 1:07 left in the first half.

“You can’t take anything away from them,” Todd said. “They brought it to the house. They played good football tonight. We just try to take it one play at a time. We want to win the little battles and the big battles will come later.”

Jake Roberts recovered Racca’s fumble on the ensuing possession at the Walker 22 but Dustin Brown intercepted LeBlanc in the end zone a play later and the Wildcats took a knee before halftime.

Whittington recovered another Racca’ fumble at the Wildcat 16 to open the second half after Roberts sacked him for a 4-yard loss and two plays later Tre` Vaughn took an option pitch left 9 yards into the end zone. Manton’s kick made it 34-0 with 12:42 left to play.

Chris Delaune recovered Zachery’s  fumble after a 21-yard keeper on the ensuing possession and Britton Day hit pay dirt from 41 yards on an option to the right a play later. Manton’s kick made it 41-0 with 10:00 left to play.

Zachery hit the right sideline on the next possession and raced 72 yards into the end zone to get Walker on the board. The kick hit the left upright to leave the score 41-6 with 8:10 left.

Grady Miles was dropped for an 11-yard loss on a fumbled pitch on the Gators next possession and Truxillo dropped Matt Marrero for a 7-yard loss.

“I think it got a little sloppy at the end,” Oliver said. “We put the ball on the ground that we should not have.”

Zachery capped the ensuing 9-play, 60-yard drive with a 3-yard scamper to the right pylon as time expired. Daniel Stallings recovered the muffed snap on the point after attempt.

LeBlanc led the Gators on the ground with 64 yards on six carries.

Zachery led Walker with 133 yard on 13 carries

St. Amant’s  regular season opener against Parkview Baptist at The Pit Friday night was canceled due to Hurricane Gustav.

St. Amant’s Jake Roberts sacks Walker’s Derrick Racca for a 4-yard loss in the second half of the LeBlanc Food Stores’ Jamboree Friday night as Marlin Bourgeois closes in.