Gators want to keep momentum at Bonnabel

Peter Silas Pasqua
St. Amant’s Romel Streit drops Plaquemine’s Nick Thomas for a loss as Bryce Carpenter and Seth Vaccaro close in during the second quarter of the Gators’ 41-6 victory Friday night. St. Amant traveled to Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie to face Bonnabel Thursday night.

ST. AMANT – Undefeated St. Amant will look to continue to build momentum that has seen the Gators’ triple option attack rush for more than 300 yards in each one of their wins when they travel to face Bonnabel Thursday night at Joe Yenni Stadium.

The Gators (3-0) of District 6-5A are coming off a 41-6 victory over previously undefeated Plaquemine Friday night, while Bonnabel (0-3) of District 9-5A fell to Central Lafourche 55-13. Despite being ranked No. 4 in unofficial power ratings released by the LHSAA after Week 3, St. Amant has not received one vote thus far this season in the LSWA polls.

“I think we are starting to develop a little momentum,” St. Amant head coach David Oliver said. “Before the state will respect us, we have to respect ourselves and I think as this team is moving forward we are starting to do that. We just are going out and trying to win the next game. This is the biggest game on our schedule right now because it is the next game and we are completely focused on Bonnabel.

“All I know is that we have 10 games scheduled and we are going to go out and do our very best to be successful in all 10 of them regardless of the opponent. Every team goes out every week and gives their best effort in an attempt to get a victory and we are no different than anybody else.”

St. Amant’s offense has shined so far this season featuring three players with nearly 300 yards rushing led by sophomore quarterback Tyler Guillory who has rushed for 326 yards on 53 attempts to go with six touchdowns. Senior fullback Nelson Jointer also has 295 yards and six touchdowns on 51 carries, including three a week ago and senior wingback Tre` Vaughn has carried 21 times for 277 yards. The line is anchored by center Michael McDonald, guard Justin Bumgardner and tackles Dillon Delaune and Marvin Martin. The Gators also got 51 yards on seven carries from Taylor Jones out of the fullback position a week ago.

“We don’t have specific numbers week to week what our goals are to rush for,” Oliver said. “We just try to execute each play as well as we possibly can, run as hard as we can and protect the football and we feel like when we do those things, we have a chance to be successful. The fullback is obviously one of the keys to the triple option and if you can establish him first, you get a lot of yards and secondly, opponents are forced to make adjustments to try and take that away which opens up some other avenues to move the football.”

Bonnabel, under second year head coach Craig Lingle, runs out of a Forty defense and are led by linebacker Bobby Montique.

“They are aggressive on defense and try to force the issue,” Oliver said. “When we get out there on Thursday night, it should be an interesting contest.”

The Gators’ defense, which at times have been overshadowed by their offense, limited Plaquemine to 49 yards rushing last week with the majority of it coming on a 50-plus run. St. Amant’s contingent includes lineman Bryce Carpenter, linebackers Marlon Bourgeois, Romel Streit and Tyler Schexnayder and defensive backs Breck Schexnayder and Tony Raffrey.

“I think our defense is hungry and playing exceptionally well right now,” Oliver said. “We mix up fronts and coverages as is appropriate for the opponent that we are playing and there is a lot of variety in our defense. The big thing that they have been doing well, is getting themselves off the field on conversions situations. They have been real successful at making plays on third and fourth down to stop offenses from getting a new set of downs.”

Bonnabel runs out of a Wing T offense and are led by running backs Bobby Smith and Carroll Barriere and quarterback Ryan Evans.

“They try to be very multiple. They look pretty solid on special teams,” Oliver said. “We want to eliminate big plays and if they do score, force them to do it in 12 plays which is the best case scenario for us.”