Taylor’s hat trick leads Gators to blowout win

Kyle Riviere
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
De’Andre Taylor became the first St. Amant player to ever return a kickoff for a touchdown in the 14 years David Oliver has been head coach.

In St. Amant’s blowout victory over Helen Cox on Friday night, De’Andre Taylor did a little bit of everything for the Gators. He also did something no St. Amant player has ever done in the David Oliver era.

“De’Andre Taylor had a great game on offense, and in the 14 years I’ve been a head coach here, that was the first time we’ve ever had a kickoff return for a touchdown,” Oliver said. “We had scored every other kind of way. It was kind of a sloppy one, but it counted, so I was happy about that.” 

Taylor scored three touchdowns in the game. The kickoff return went nearly 100 yards and gave St. Amant a 21-6 advantage. From there, the Gators rolled to a 48-12 victory.

“I thought our kids played well,” Oliver said. “I was pleased with how we played offensively. For the first time all year, we protected the football. We didn’t have any turnovers. The defense stepped up when they needed to. It was a great team effort. It’s a good way to finish up the non-district part of the schedule, when you’re trying to clean up the mistakes of the preseason and get ready for district.”

The undefeated Gators scored on their opening drive, marching 82 yards in nine plays. Quarterback Cole Poirrier hooked up with Taylor for a 24-yard touchdown to give St. Amant a 7-0 lead.

On their next drive, the Gators went 49 yards in just five plays. Wjuantaz Paul scored on a five-yard run to make it 14-0.

After Helen Cox cut it to 14-6 early in the second quarter, Taylor bobbled the kickoff, and he had to chase down the ball as it went inside the 5-yard line. He finally gathered it in and then weaved through Cougar defenders as he sprinted down the field for a touchdown.

To end the half, Poirrier hooked up with Tanner Oliver for an eight-yard touchdown, and Taylor found the end zone for a third time.

On a fourth-and-seven, Poirrier got the ball to Taylor, and he broke numerous tackles, before blazing into the end zone from 32 yards out to make it 35-6 at the half.

To begin the second half, Poirrier hit Noah Louque for a 14-yard score to make it 42-6. It was the final snap of the game for Poirrier.

St. Amant scored its final touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Bryson Humphrey powered in for a one-yard touchdown to make it 48-12.

In the victory, Poirrier went 15-19 for 205 yards with four touchdowns. He also rushed for 37 yards.

Taylor caught five passes for 84 yards and two scores, while Louque made five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown.

Paul rushed for 77 yards and a score on 12 carries.

The win improved St. Amant to 4-0 for the first time since 2017.

“I think we’re a team that’s on the rise. We’re getting better each week, and that’s exciting going into district--feeling that you haven’t peaked yet,” Oliver said. “There’s a stiff mountain to climb. We start with McKinley, and then every week is going to be a major battle with Woodlawn, Catholic, Dutchtown and EA. It’s a gauntlet, so hopefully we’re injury free after tonight and get a good start next week against McKinley.”