St. Amant, Plaquemine look to stay undefeated

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant quarterback Tyler Guillory keeps against Hammond in the Gators’ 35-20 victory last week. Guillory has rushed for 256 yards on 37 attempts this season accounting for seven total touchdowns. St. Amant hosts Plaqumine Friday night at the Pit in a battle of unbeatens.

ST. AMANT – After both going winless a year ago, St. Amant and Plaquemine head into a clash of early undefeated squads looking to remain unblemished when they strap it on Friday night at the Pit at 7 p.m.

St. Amant (2-0) of District 6-5A is coming off a 35-20 victory over Hammond while Plaquemine (2-0) of District 8-3A edged Glen Oaks 21-20. While both teams obviously feel 2-0 is great, 3-0 sounds even better.

“I know that coming in both teams have that expectation of continuing to win,” St. Amant head coach David Oliver said. “I know Plaquemine is hungry for their third win and we are hungry for our third win.

“I guess ultimately as the season goes on, we will see how we handle success. I don’t think anyone within the program is surprised. We have gotten great senior leadership, worked hard in the off-season and eliminated a lot of the confusion from last year and it is just a testament to the work the kids have put in that they are having some success. At this point, we are still hungry and excited to play.”

Plaquemine is led by first-year head coach Bob Howell, a veteran who has led Baker to a state championship berth and Zachary to playoff runs in recent years.

“Bob has a strong resume so we are expecting a very well coached Plaquemine team to come in hungry for a win,” Oliver said. “We have ran a couple of clinics together and I came away impressed not only with his knowledge  but also how he carries himself and runs his program. It will be a huge challenge for our kids Friday night to go out and play another undefeated team.”

St. Amant has rushed for 375 yards in both of its victories using a time-tested triple option attack. Quarterback Tyler Guillory went over the century mark on the ground for the second consecutive week with 130 yards on 22 carries scoring three touchdowns. Guillory has rushed for 256 yards on 37 attempts this season accounting for a total of seven touchdowns. Nelson Jointer also had 111 yards last week on 18 carries to go with one touchdown, while Tre` Vaughn added 79 yards and one touchdown on nine attempts to push his season total to 222 yards on just 17 carries.

“I don’t know about a machine but we have been playing well on the offensive side of the ball and there are a lot of factors that go into that,” Oliver said. “There is great decision making by the quarterback and unselfishness by the rest of the backs to block when they are not getting the ball.”

Plaquemine will try to combat with an eight-man front that recovered two fumbles a week ago and held Glen Oaks on fourth down to preserve victory.

“Plaquemine plays a very aggressive eight man front and it is going to be a huge challenge for our kids because they are going to try and force the action more than our previous opponents, so we have to execute,” Oliver said. “We are  looking forward to that challenge Friday night at the Pit.”

The Green Devils run nearly the same offense as St. Amant and are led by quarterback Ameer Diggs and running back Deandre Jenkins.

“They are very similar to us,” Oliver said. “We both run what I call the Academy triple option with a single back like Army, Navy and Air Force. They run a version of that just like we do.”

St. Amant’s defense limited Hammond to just 154 total yards of offense a week ago with just 103 rushing yards on 36 Tornado attempts, while forcing two interceptions. The Gators are led by stalwarts Marvin Martin, Chase Hitchcock and Jaylin LeBlanc.

“I think the big key is going to be for our kids to play disciplined and make sure they play good, sound, assignment defense because if you don’t, they have enough team speed and skill to really make you pay,” Oliver said.  “It is going to be an interesting battle and we look forward to it.”